Ecuador edges Honduras, 2-1, in World Cup Group E game

Ecuador edges Honduras, 2-1, in World Cup Group E game

Honduras avoided a dubious distinction. Alas, the lightly regarded World Cup squad also will avoid the World Cup knockout round.

The Hondurans got a Costly goal, but a costly infraction that negated another score as Ecuador eked out a 2-1 win in a group game Friday.

Enner Valencia redeemed himself from an early wayward shot on an enticing opportunity and struck twice -- once by foot, once by head. He owns all three tournament goals for Ecuador, which has renewed hope of emerging with France, its remaining opponent, from Group E.

Carlo Costly scored in the 31st minute, giving Honduras a lead that was fleeting at best. Had seven more minutes elapsed without a shot breaching the goal line, Honduras would have set a record for lengthiest scoring drought in Cup history, held by Bolivia.

Ecuador spent more time in corners than a misbehaving child. Twelve corner kicks should generate a goal, maybe more, but the Ecuadoreans came up empty.

Honduras, still 0-for-life in Cup matches, had a celebration cut short in first-half stoppage time. Referee Benjamin Williams of Australia ruled a handball against the apparent scorer, Jerry Bengtson. The ball struck Bengtson's lower arm, which was at his side.

The harsh but not uncommon call sent one frustrated and one relieved team to their respective locker rooms. Those same moods carried over to the end of the match.

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