A pair of inspired substitutions from coach Ottmar Hitzfeld earned Switzerland a 2-1 comeback FIFA World Cup win over Ecuador in Group E.
The in-form Enner Valencia scored his fifth goal in the past five international appearances to give the South American team a 22nd-minute lead but Admir Mehmedi levelled three minutes after coming on as a half-time substitute.
Both those goals came about as a result of poor set-piece marking, but Switzerland took the points in dramatic fashion courtesy of a clinical counter-attack deep into injury time.
Mehmedi’s fellow replacement Haris Seferovic, who last netted for his club Real Sociedad in November, was on hand to convert Ricardo Rodriguez’s low cross to spark wild celebrations from the Swiss.
Ecuador made high-tempo start, launching attack after attack during the opening minutes but the Switzerland defence stood firm.
Their lone striker, Josip Drmic, had a sight of goal in the 12th minute, only for Jorge Guagua to make a timely challenge as the Europeans found their feet.
Granit Xhaka and Xherdan Shaqiri tried their luck from outside the box – the latter’s strike grasped at the second attempt by goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez, who then spilt a 19th-minute shot from full-back Rodriguez behind.
And so it was slightly against the run of play when Valencia headed home Walter Ayovi’s
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