Ecuador booked their spot in the Copa America Centenario quarter-finals with a 4-0 win over lowly Haiti in Group B on Sunday.
Enner Valencia continued his remarkable form for the national team as he added a goal and two assists to his impressive portfolio of work already at the centenary tournament, maintaining his fine club form from West Ham this season.
Having drawn their opening two fixtures against Brazil and Peru, Ecuador knew a win by two goals or more in their final group game would see them through to the knockout rounds.
And their hunt for goals got off to the best possible start when Valencia scored the opener after just 11 minutes, speeding beyond the last line of Haiti’s defence to latch onto Christian Noboa’s pass before coolly slotting the ball into the back of the net.
Jaime Ayovi doubled the advantage nine minutes later after Valencia turned from goalscorer to provider with some unselfish play, before the Haitians came into the game with a strong period to close the half.
Haiti could not find the crucial goal, however and went 3-0 down to Noboa’s 57th-minute strike.
Having already laid on a goal for Ayovi, Valencia set up his namesake Antonio Valencia, as he teed up the Manchester United player for the simplest of finishes with 12 minutes remaining to complete the rout.
Ecuador made two changes to the team which drew with Peru on Wednesday.
One was enforced through Gabriel Achilier’s suspension, brining Atletico Mineiro defender Frickson Erazo in the side as Ayovi came in to partner West Ham’s Enner Valencia up top.
Haiti coach Patrice Neveu responded to his side’s 7-1 destruction with four changes.
Not that they seemed to stem the flow of goals conceded, as Ecuador took the lead just 11 minutes into the game through Enner.
He almost had a second six minutes later but for a fine save from Haiti goalkeeper Johny Placide, though he did not have to wait long for another opportunity, this time providing the assist to set Ayovi up for a simple finish.
Haiti almost hit back approaching the half-hour mark as Mechack Jerome rattled the crossbar with a thumping header before Romain Genevois turned the rebound over the top of the net, which sparked a strong period from the unfancied Haitians, with Sony Norde justifying his manager’s selection with some dazzling runs that had the Ecuador defence on the back foot.
They could not capitalise on Norde’s play and found themselves further behind just over 10 minutes into the second half when Noboa made it 3-0 following some lovely Ecuador interplay, before the two Valencia’s combined to finish Haiti off with a fourth, as the CONCACAF nation exited the tournament having conceded 12 goals and scored just once.
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