Switzerland punish toothless Ecuador in World Cup blowout
Switzerland, not one of Europe’s top female sides, showed the gaping abyss which exists in FIFA women’s soccer as they made mincemeat of Ecuador, a playoff qualifier for the final 24 who have been completely outplayed in their first two Women’s World Cup matches in Vancouver.
The Swiss,rolled to a 10-1 triumph that eclipsed Cameroon’s 6-0 victory over the Ecuadoreans back on opening day in group play and raised the question of why FIFA has expanded the tournament to include teams which clearly are not able to compete at this level.
A 25th minute Angie Ponce own goal and Eseosa Aigbogun’s strike in first half stoppage time gave the Swiss a comfortable 2-0 lead at intermission, although their territorial control suggested they should have been much further ahead. Fabienne Humm scored a hat trick in just seven minutes after the interval to make the scoreline reflect the match, finishing the night as a contest well before the hour mark.
After that it was simply a night which made you wonder what good it was doing either team.
Humm gave Switzerland immediate second half breathing room with a goal two minutes after the restart and then scored again with a header two minutes later as the amateurs from South America looked outclassed. Her third in the 51st minute was from an Aigbogun cross that slid through the disorganized defense. Ramona Bachmann buried a penalty kick on the hour, then added her second a minute later as the rout became embarassing.
Ecuador did get some solace when Monica Quinteros was bundled over in the 64th minute to allow Ponce to score from the penalty spot, the first goal for their country at the top level. But the Swiss continued to attack, perhaps thinking that goal difference could send them forward to the knock out stage: they scored again when Ponce netted her second own goal of the match with 19 minutes remaining. It gave the Ecuadorean a rather bizarre hat trick since her penalty meant she had "scored" three times on the night.
Martina Moser made it 9-1 when her 76th minute drive from outside the box could only be helped home by Shirely Berruz’s two-handed attempt to parry the ball away. Bachmann completed her hat trick with 10 minutes to go.
The Swiss had dominated from the get-go but wasted early chances, especially a 10th minute open net opportunity for Aigbogun, who headed wide of the near post.When the opening goal did come it was somewhat fortuitous although the right side run by Humm was deserving of a finish. Her cut-back pass was tapped into her own net by Ponce in the 25th minute.
The constant Swiss pressure as the half continued, Humm having a close-range header beaten away, then Rahel Kiwic was unlucky to see a wide-open six-yard back heel hit the right post and stay out. Ecuador defended tenaciously and rode its luck but could not get into the interval only a goal behind as Anna Maria Crnogorcevic worked to the left byeline in first half stoppage time, then pulled the ball across the face of goal for Aigbogun to hammer the second into an open net.
The Swiss finish group play against Cameroon while Ecuador must face defending champion Japan in their final first round fixture.