Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda blames his team's poor performance as the only reason for their 2-1 loss to Switzerland, denying any sentiment that they were truly outplayed by their opponent.
Fair enough, but the Swiss created several more chances than the tiny country from the host continent, with 13 shots on goal to Ecuador's six. That's only a fraction of it. Ecuador maintained very little possession the entire game (roughly 60/40, sometimes seeming like less) and didn't do much to follow through on plays when they were created.
Their only goal came off a set piece, which Enner Valencia headed in very close to goal to take an early 1-0 lead in the 22nd minute. Ecuador completely blew the deciding goal at the last minute off a quality run from Antonio Valencia, who fed Michael Arroyo in the box for a textbook opportunity. Arroyo took one too many touches on the ball trying to gain composure and ended up turning the ball over to the Swiss, who ran the length of the field and scored the game winner with a minute to spare. Between Valencia's first goal and the final blown opportunity, Ecuador wasn't very convincing.
La Tri's most dangerous quality lies in its play on the wings; the team is explosive and can create certain plays which cause fits among opponents, but the Swiss weren't too easily fazed by this particular effort. They took advantage of Ecuador's sloppy defense and capitalized off a disorganized midfield where the ball often got lost in attempts down the middle. The result was a lack of service to Valencia and Felipe Caicedo, who depend on that wing service to finish chances.
La Tri's defense was exposed yet again, with their scattered back line often seen chasing down the attack rather than closing in and forcing Switzerland's players into difficult situations. Had Switzerland put forth a more creative performance, it wouldn't have had to come from behind to win; Ecuador's defense would heave helped the Swiss along just fine.
Ecuador is a creative team, and there were moments where it was obvious. Unfortunately, their efforts were usually countered by Switzerland, which was more dominant but lacked a particular edge to make it appear the better team. In a way, Rueda is correct in his implications, but the Swiss came out the better team in the end, as far as the scoreline was concerned.