The Netherlands struggled to a 1-1 draw against Ecuador in the second World Cup group game.

Both sides went into the game on the back of opening wins, but Louis van Gaal made three changes with Jurrien Timber, Teun Koopmeiners, and Davy Klaassen all coming into the line-up.

Cody Gakpo was pushed forward and he opened the scoring after only six minutes with an excellent curled strike from the edge of the box.

From that point on, though Ecuador looked the brighter side and they tested Andries Noppert through Enner Valencia. On the stroke of halftime, Netherlands was given a huge warning with Pervis Estupiñán netting but the goal was disallowed for an obstruction by Jackson Porozo.

Memphis Depay replaced Steven Bergwijn at the break but four minutes into the second half, Valencia equalised with a close-range finish after Noppert parried a shot by Estupiñán.

Ecuador almost had the lead but Gonzalo Plata was unlucky to see his strike crash back off the underside of the bar. At the other end, Netherlands created nothing apart from a Koopmeiners shot that flew over the bar.

Steven Berghuis, Wout Weghorst, and Marten de Roon were all thrown on but they didn’t change the outcome as the Netherlands failed to create anything and the match ended 1-1.

The Netherlands remain top ahead of Ecuador and they will seal their place in the next round on Tuesday if they defeat the already eliminated Qatar.

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