Ecuador tops Haiti to set date with U.S.

Action from the Copa America Centenario game between Ecuador (yellow jersey) and Haiti on June 12, 2016, in East Rutherford, New Jersey, USA. (Photo: Mexsport)

EAST RUTHERFORD, New Jersey – Enner Valencia scored a goal and assisted on two others to help lift Ecuador to a 4-0 win over Haiti in both teams’ final group stage match in the Copa America Centenario Sunday at MetLife Stadium.

Ecuador, which finished second in Group B and will face the United States in the quarterfinals at CenturyLink Field in Seattle on Thursday, scored twice in the opening 20 minutes.

In the 11th minute, Christian Noboa played Enner Valencia behind the Haitian defense and the West Ham United forward scored his second goal of the competition to put Ecuador in front, 1-0.

Valencia turned provider nine minutes later, avoiding a slide tackle to race in toward goal before squaring a pass to Jaime Ayovi, who easily tapped into the empty net

A combination Antonio Valencia and Enner Valencia nearly resulted in another goal in the 23rd minute. Antonio found space down the right flank and played a cross into the box that Enner volleyed just over the crossbar from eight-yards out.

Haiti’s best chance for a goal in the first half came in the 27th minute, when Mechack Jerome latched onto a Sony Norde free kick, but his header caromed off the crossbar. Kervens Belfort headed the rebound onto the top netting for Haiti, which opened group play with losses to Peru (1-0) and Brazil (7-1).

Frickson Erazo then headed off the bar for Ecuador, which previously played Brazil (0-0) and Peru (2-2) to draws.

Haiti nearly capitalized on a defensive miscue by Ecuador four minutes into the second half, but Duckens Nazon’s shot was kicked away by goalkeeper Alex Dominguez.

Ecuador nearly had a third goal in the 54th minute, but defender Romain Genevois made a diving clearance off the line of a shot by second-half substitute Juan Cazares.

Three minutes later, the third came when Noboa took a cross from Jefferson Montero off his chest and finished clinically low inside the far post.

Antonio Valencia capped the scoring in the 78th minute, tapping in a cross from Enner Valencia.

  • BUDWEISER MAN OF THE MATCH: Enner Valencia (Ecuador)