Narrow escape for tough Leeds United ace Raphinha in wild Brazil clash in Ecuador with four reds

Leeds United star Raphinha survived 63 minutes of a crazy World Cup qualifier for Brazil against Ecuador featuring four red cards including two for 'keeper Alisson that were then wiped out.

By Lee Sobot
Friday, 28th January 2022, 8:23 am

Raphinha offered a threat going forward whilst also producing stellar defensive work as part of a night in which he was booked and conceded a penalty which was then overturned with the help of VAR.

The fixture was played at 9,000 feet above sea level at the high altitude Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado stadium in Quito and a truly breathless game that featured 21 minutes of added time eventually ended in a 1-1 draw.

Amazingly, Brazil's Liverpool 'keeper Alisson was sent off twice but both dismissals were overturned after the intervention of VAR whilst Ecuador saw two penalties wiped out.

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EPIC CLASH: Leeds United's Brazilian star winger Raphinha, right, gestures to referee Wilmar Roldan as he points to the spot only to then change his mind in a crazy 1-1 draw against Ecuador. Photo by SANTIAGO ARCOS/POOL/AFP via Getty Images.

Raphinha bagged his sixth cap for his country by once again lining up on the right wing and his side went ahead in the fifth minute as Ecuador failed to clear a corner and Casemiro eventually bundled the ball home from underneath the crossbar.

The goal survived a lengthy check for offside from VAR which was called for again moments later as Ecuador keeper Alexander Dominguez caught Matheus Cunha with a very high boot on his neck as he looked to latch on to Fred's through ball.

After the intervention of VAR, referee Wilmar Roldan was ordered to check his monitor and Dominguez was shown a straight red card but the initial contact took place outside of the box and Philippe Coutinho wasted the free-kick by curling his effort over the bar.

And just seconds later, Brazil were reduced to ten men as Emerson Royal - who had already been booked - caught Michael Estrada with a high challenge and was shown a second caution.

Incredibly, the game's third red card was then dished out moments later as Brazil keeper Alisson attempted to clear a long ball but caught Enner Valencia on the top of his head with a follow through.

But referee Roldan was instructed by VAR to head to his monitor and after at least a dozen looks the official returned to downgrade the red card to yellow.

Raphinha was heavily involved at both ends of the pitch and the Whites star was booked shortly before the break as he completely missed his attempt to clear in his own half and caught Valencia on the follow-through, Valencia theatrically tumbling to the deck.

Despite being on a booking, the Whites ace re-emerged for the second half and was on the receiving end of a handful of fouls either side of Ecuador looking to have equalised through Estrada only for the goal to be ruled out, the ball judged to have been carried behind before the Estrada netted the cross.

Brazil's Cunha then should have had a penalty when bundled over moments later and instead Ecuador were awarded a spot kick seconds later as Raphinha and Pervis Estupinan caught each other with outstretched boots in their attempts to reach the ball in a crowded box.

Yet incredibly referee Roldan was instructed to check his monitor again and the decision was overturned.

Every minute was filled with incident but Raphinha was spared any more drama when finally taken off and replaced by Antony as part of a double change in the 63rd minute.

The thrills and spills continued and Ecuador equalised in the 75th minute as Felix Torres headed home a corner.

The contest finally looked to have settled all things considered yet amazingly Ecuador were awarded another penalty in the 92nd minute as Alisson punched clear a cross but caught substitute Ayrton Preciado in the head with his follow through.

Alisson had already been booked and was handed a second caution meaning a second red card but unbelievably Roldan was yet again instructed to look at his monitor.

Sensationally, the decision was once again overturned, the yellow card and the penalty rescinded and despite another 11 minutes of added time, a scarcely believable contest ended all square at 1-1.

Brazil had already qualified for the World Cup before the contest but boss Tite has still named a strong squad for the two qualifiers over the current break.

Brazil will be back in action in the early hours of Wednesday morning when they face a home clash against Paraguay, the contest kicking off at 12.30am UK time from the Estadio Mineirao in Belo Horizonte.

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