FRISCO, Texas — FC Dallas midfielder Carlos Gruezo started and played all 90 minutes of Ecuador's final CONMEBOL Copa America group stage match against Japan on Monday, and the two teams played to a 1-1 draw.
Ecuador fell behind quickly after just 15 minutes into the match after Japan midfielder Shoya Nakajima put in a rebound into an open net. Ecuador goalkeeper Alexander Domínguez came out of his area to sweep up a Japan through ball. He managed to disrupt the chance Japan had created, but his clearance fell to the feet of Nakajima, who fired a shot into an open net, which hit the crossbar and into the back of the net.
Rebounds would play a key role in the final scoreline of the match. In the 35th minute, Ecuador had a ball crossed into the box, which was eventually volleyed by Robert Arboleda. Japan's keeper attempted to parry the ball away, but it deflected right to Ángel Mena, who put the chance away and equalized.
Those would be the only two goals on the night, and Ecuador finished its Copa America campaign in fourth place with one point through three games.