Quito, Jan 27 (EFE).- Ecuador scored late in regulation here Thursday to draw 1-1 with Brazil in a World Cup qualifier that saw each side go down to 10 men within the opening 20 minutes and a string of interventions by VAR.
With 36 points from 14 games, Brazil, who have already booked their ticket to Qatar 2022, lead the South American standings by 7 over Argentina, in action Thursday night against seventh-place Chile.
Ecuador are third on 24 points, 7 better than Colombia.
Real Madrid man Casemiro put the visitors ahead in the 6th minute after Ecuador failed to clear after Philippe Coutinho’s corner kick.
Things went from bad to worse for the hosts in the 12th minute, when goalkeeper Alex Dominguez left Matheus Cunha bleeding from the neck with a reckless challenge on the edge of the area.
Referee Wilmar Roldan showed Dominguez a red card and Brazil clamored for a penalty, but a VAR review determined that the foul took place outside the box and the Canarinha had to settle for a free kick.
The red card stood, however, and Ecuador girded for an attacking onslaught.
Yet the Brazilian man advantage lasted only until the 20th minute, when Emerson Royal picked up his second yellow card of the contest for a foul against Michael Estrada and was sent off.
The game looked set to take another dramatic turn with a red card for Brazil keeper Alisson following a collision with striker Enner Valencia.
Again, VAR intervened and Roldan swapped the red card for a yellow one.
Ecuador had a goal disallowed early in the second half because the ball went out of play before the shot and later saw VAR deny a penalty.
The home side broke through in the 75th minute, as Felix Torres beat Alisson with a header off a corner.
Early in what was supposed to be five minutes of stoppage time, the referee pointed to the spot for an encounter between Alisson and an attacking player.
Roldan also pulled a yellow card from his pocket. Inevitably, VAR had a look and the decision was no penalty and no second yellow for Alisson. EFE