In front of 84,876 at AT&T Stadium — a venue record crowd for a soccer match — Mexico topped Ecuador, 3-1, although arguably both teams regret playing the match at all. Several golazos and strong performances from the sides’ stars couldn’t override a surprising amount of animosity and the utter shock of several serious injuries
Montes breaks his leg: Mexico midfielder Luis Montes suffered a broken right tibia and fibula after colliding with Segundo Castillo in the 35th minute. He was rushed to a hospital, and will miss out on the World Cup. Castillo reportedly suffered ligament damage to his right knee and was also taken to the hospital. To make matters worse, Mexico captain Rafa Maquez suffered a foot injury and was taken to the hospital “as a precaution.
The Mexican attack: El Tri put up three goals for the second time in as many match. Just two minutes before his injury, Montes scored a wonderful golazo, curling a shot from 25 yards out into the side netting to give El Tri the lead. Marco Fabian bettered Montes in the 69th minute with a half volley from 30 yards. And in the 76h minute, Giovani Dos Santos drilled a shot off the post that ricocheted back off the goalkeeper and into the goal.
Ecuador’s offensive struggles: For most of the match, Ecuador struggled to create many clear-cut chances, as both Felipe Caicedo and Enner Valencia did not make the starting lineup. Both subbed on late, and Valencia pulled one back with a powerful freekick in the 80th minute.
Man of the Match: Marco Fabian, Mexico. He came on for the injured Montes, whent he entire stadium was in melancholy, and then proceeded to menace the Ecuadoran backline again and again.