Ecuador and the USA still vying for World Cup qualification
While the majority of FCA players were enjoying a weekend off, two of their teammates were in action with their national teams. Carlos Gruezo and Ecuador held Brazil to a 1-1 draw, while Ricardo Pepi and the USA were defeated by Canada.
Gruezo and Ecuador took a big step towards qualifying for the 2022 World Cup, holding group leaders Brazil to a 1-1 draw. 'El Tri' got off to a disastrous start in the match, as Casemiro put Brazil ahead early on (6'). Ecuador then went down to 10 men, after Alexander Dominguez was shown a red card in the 15th minute. Brazil then also had a man sent off (20'), as Felix Torres went on to net the equaliser in the 75th minute. Gruezo was in the starting XI and was taken off around the hour mark.
With three matchdays left, Ecuador remain in third place in their qualifying group. A win on Wednesday against Peru would see them seal their place at the upcoming World Cup in Qatar.
Ricardo Pepi and the USA suffered a defeat on the weekend, losing their top-of-the-table clash against neighbours Canada (2-0). Cyle Larin (7') and Sam Adekugbe (90'+5) got on the scoresheet for the hosts. Pepi was subbed on in the closing minutes of the match, but was unable to prevent the defeat. The striker did not feature in the 1-0 win against El Salvador two days prior.
With four matchdays left to play, the US are in second place in CONCACAF qualifying, and remain on track to qualify for the World Cup. Next up, they will face Honduras on 3rd February.