Honduras vs. Ecuador: Enner Valencia Beats Carlo Costly in Battle of Key Men

Sam TigheWorld Football Tactics Lead WriterJune 20, 2014

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Ecuador boosted their hopes of making the knockout stages by beating Honduras 2-1 in a hard-fought contest on Friday.

Carlo Costly opened the scoring with a great effort from 18 yards, but Enner Valencia equalised just before half-time. In the second half he struck again, winning the tie for his side and taking his personal goal tally to three.


Formations and XI


Honduras set out in their standard 4-4-2 formation with Costly and Jerry Bengtson up front, Jorge Claros replacing Wilson Palacios in midfield and Luis Garrido starting on the right.

Ecuador play a 4-4-2/4-4-1-1 as well, with Valencia just off Felipe Caicedo.



As we alluded to in our preview, the two sides' primary modes of attack were clear before kick-off.

Honduras like to play in to Bengtson and Costly early, and with two men up front, they can square up Jorge Guagua and Frickson Erazo one vs. one and test them.

Ecuador, on the other hand, can play up to Caicedo if they like but prefer to filter wide as quickly as possible. Jefferson Montero (left) and Antonio Valencia (right) gave the Honduran full-backs fits on a regular basis.

Crossing, not playing long balls, edged the contest on the day.


One vs. One

When a 4-4-2 meets a 4-4-2, you're pitting player vs. player in an individual matchup.


There's no 4-2-3-1 vs. 4-3-3 mismatch with a spare man in a certain spot. You win against your man and you turn the tide of the game; lose and you're in serious trouble.

Ecuador won the majority of individual battles, and that's why they won the game, with E. Valencia, Montero, A. Valencia and Caicedo in particular looking dominant early on.

La Tri manipulated the wings and played killer balls more often than Honduras could.



In a game in which three goals were scored, a further three were disallowed, five yellow cards were dished out but no tactical nuances were present, basic takeaways are easy.

Credit: Huffington Post

Ecuador used the left more than the right, with Walter Ayovi proving a serious handful once again. The passing links between Ayovi, Montero and Erazo were stronger (more frequent) than any other combination on the pitch.

La Tri cut off the supply to Bengtson and Costly well, with Christian Noboa in particular excelling with seven block tackles, per WhoScored.com.

Costly received only 27 passes and Bengtson 24; Montero got 37, and he made them all count.