Switzerland score dramatic victory

23:11, Jun 16 2014
Switzerland fan
A Switzerland fan arrives at the National stadium to watch his team play Ecuador.
Ecuador fans
Fans of Ecuador cheer before the start of the Group E match against Switzerland.
Header
Switzerland's Johan Djourou fights for the ball with Ecuador's Felipe Caicedo.
Contest
Gokhan Inler of Switzerland controls the ball against Juan Carlos Paredes of Ecuador.
Celebration
Switzerland's Haris Seferovic (9) celebrates his goal against Ecuador with his teammates
In Sync
Switzerland's Johan Djourou and Stephan Lichtsteinerf ight for the ball with Ecuador's Jefferson Montero.
Stadium
A general view as the teams line up prior to the Group E match between France and Honduras at Estadio Beira-Rio.
Karim Benzema
France's Karim Benzema shoots to score during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Protest
Roger Espinoza and Oscar Boniek Garcia of Honduras protest France's second goal.
Own Goal
Goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras scores an own goal, France's second, as he fumbles the ball over the line during the Group E match between France and Honduras.
Penalty
France's Paul Pogba falls near teammate Antoine Griezmann after being fouled by Wilson Palacios of Honduras.
Blaise Matuidi
France's Blaise Matuidi tries to score a goal during their Group E match against Honduras.
Karim Benzema
Karim Benzema of France celebrates a goal that came after the referee had blown full time during his side's win over Switzerland in Salvador, Brazil.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Ricardo Rodriguez of Switzerland fights off Mathieu Debuchy of France during the Group E match between Switzerland and France at Arena Fonte Nova in Salvador, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (top) celebrates with teammate Mathieu Valbuena their team's victory over Switzerland.
Xherdan Shaqiri
France's Karim Benzema (left) watches as Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri falls to the ground in front of him as they fight for the ball during their World Cup clash.
French fan
A French fan approaches France's Mathieu Valbuena and Yohan Cabaye after their 2014 World Cup Group E match against Switzerland at the Fonte Nova arena in Salvador, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Enner Valencia (No 13) of Ecuador celebrates with teammates after scoring his side's second goal against Honduras at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Carlo Costly
Carlo Costly of Honduras celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the Group E match between Honduras and Ecuador at Arena da Baixada in Curitiba, Brazil.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia celebrates after scoring a goal past goalkeeper Noel Valladares of Honduras during their 2014 World Cup Group E football match at the Baixada arena in Curitiba.
Enner Valencia
Ecuador's Enner Valencia comes up with a novel way to celebrate after scoring a goal against Honduras.
Juan Carlos Garcia
Juan Carlos Garcia of Honduras controls the ball past Antonio Valencia of Ecuador during their clash at the World Cup.
Felipe Caicedo
Felipe Caicedo of Ecuador challenges Laurent Koscielny of France during their World Cup Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Olivier Giroud
France's Olivier Giroud (second right) reacts after missing a chance to score against Ecuador at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Walter Ayovi
Walter Ayovi of Ecuador reacts after a 0-0 draw with France at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Oscar Bagui
Oscar Bagui of Ecuador controls the ball against Loic Remy of France during their Group E World Cup match.
Walter Ayovi
Ecuador's Walter Ayovi fights for the ball with France's Moussa Sissoko (right) during their Group E match at the Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro.
Paul Pogba
France's Paul Pogba (centre) fights for the ball with Ecuador's Cristian Noboa (right) during their 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro.
Granit Xhaka
Switzerland's Granit Xhaka (left) is challenged by Hondruas defender Juan Carlos Garcia during their Group E match at the Amazonia arena in Manaus.
Josip Drmic
Switzerland's Josip Drmic (top) fights for the ball with Honduras midfielder Wilson Palacios.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Switzerland's Xherdan Shaqiri fires his second goal past Honduran goalkeeper Noel Valladares.
Xherdan Shaqiri
Swiss playmaker Xherdan Shaqiri acknowledges the fans after his country's 3-0 victory over Honduras.
Ricardo Rodriguez
Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez falls into the net after clearing a shot by Jerry Bengston off the line.
Jerry Bengtson
Jerry Bengtson of Honduras (right) watches as his shot is cleared off the line by Switzerland's Ricardo Rodriguez.

A goal deep in stoppage-time by Haris Seferovic gave Switzerland a dramatic 2-1 victory over Ecuador in their Group E opener at the World Cup on Sunday.

A low-quality match looked destined to end in a draw until substitute Seferovic fired home the winner from close range in the last of three minutes of injury time. Ecuador barely had time to restart before the final whistle was blown.

Enner Valencia had given Ecuador the lead in the 22nd minute at Estadio Nacional in the Brazilian capital. That came after abject defending and Switzerland's equalizer in the 48th was in the same vein, Admir Mehmedi - another substitute - heading home from close range.

Admir Mehmedi
Admir Mehmedi celebrates opening the scoring for Switzerland in their World Cup opener against Ecuador.

It was the fifth time in nine matches so far at this World Cup that a team had come from behind to win.

After being among the bores of the last two World Cups, it was expected to be all change for Switzerland - ranked No 6 by Fifa and the top-seeded team in a group also containing France and Honduras.

Its young, dynamic class of 2014 that had come up together through the national youth ranks provided drama with the late, late goal but had offered little in the previous 92 minutes.

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They were especially disappointing in the first half, misplacing passes and overhitting crosses. Usually the Swiss can rely on a watertight defence that had conceded just once in its previous seven World Cup matches, but not this time.

Valencia stole a yard on Johan Djourou and had the simple task of guiding a glancing header into the net, with Switzerland goalkeeper Diego Benaglio left completely stranded.

Ottmar Hitzfeld's team did most of the attacking but lacked a cutting edge, leading the experienced coach to change things around at halftime and introduce Mehmedi for Valentin Stocker. And the substitute made an instant impact.

Again it was dreadful marking as Mehmedi held off two challengers to meet Ricardo Rodriguez's 48th-minute corner with a simple header.

Fifa president Sepp Blatter was present - and was booed by sections of the crowd - at what will probably go down as the poorest game so far at this year's tournament in Brazil, in terms of quality.

However, with what was nearly the last kick of the game, Rodriguez scampered down the left wing and crossed low for Seferovic to slam high into the net from close range. Only seconds earlier, Valon Behrami had made a superb tackle in his own area, before charging forward to set up the winning move.

Behrami was mobbed by as many teammates as Seferovic as Ecuador hung their heads in disappointment.

 

AP