Moreno fires Bolivia to 3-2 victory over Ecuador

Valparaiso (Chile), June 16 (IANS) Bolivia striker Marcelo Moreno scored one and assisted another as team staved off a late Ecuador revival to win a pulsating Copa America Group A match 3-2 here.

Moreno, who plays for Changchun Yatai in the Chinese Super League, provided the pass to Martin Smedberg that led to Bolivia’s second goal following Ronald Raldes’ opener at the Estadio Elias Figueroa Brander on Monday, reports Xinhua.

The 27-year-old former Werder Bremen and Wigan Athletic forward Moreno then gave his team a 3-0 lead by converting from the penalty spot after Damian Lizio was tripped by Frickson Erazo just before half-time.

Second-half goals from Ecuador’s Enner Valencia and Miller Bolanos ensured a tense finale but Bolivia survived to win their first Copa America match since 1997.

“Ecuador have a great team but we showed that we can lift to another level,” Moreno said after the match.

“I think we showed we were able to match it with them, man for man,” said Moreno, who has scored four goals in 10 matches for Changchun Yatai since joining the club from Brazil’s Gremio in April.

“In the second half Ecuador had most of the attacking chances. There was the danger that they might get an equaliser but we showed great character and fighting spirit to hold them off.”

Having held Mexico to a 0-0 stalemate in their tournament opener, Mauricio Soria-coached Bolivia need only to draw their final group match against hosts Chile on Friday to progress to the next phase.

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