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Enner Valencia is only the fourth man ever to score SIX consecutive World Cup goals for his country


Enner Valencia has scored Ecuador's last six World Cup goals - and it means that he joins a select group of players to have scored so many consecutively for their nation on the biggest stage.


Eusebio was the first, netting for Portugal in 1966, before Italian Paolo Rossi and Russian Oleg Salenko also achieved the feat in 1982 and 1994 respectively, as revealed by Opta.


Valencia scored all three of Ecuador's goals in the group stage of the 2014 World Cup, and the South American side failed to qualify for the tournament four years ago.


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So the 33-year-old's brace against Qatar in the opening game, and his equaliser against Holland on Tuesday, meant it was six consecutive Ecuadorian goals scored by their current captain, who plays his club football for Turkish side Fenerbahce.


You have to go back to the 2006 tournament to find the last World Cup goal scored by Ecuador that wasn't converted by Valencia - when Ivan Kaviedes got the third in stoppage time of their second group stage match against Costa Rica. Ecuador failed to score in their final group stage game, or in the last-16 when they were eliminated.

Speaking to ITV after the match, former Lionesses striker turned pundit Eni Aluko had lots of praise for Valencia after his equaliser.


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Aluko said: 'This guy, already three goals during the tournament. They have a heavy reliance on him, it was good forward play he follows in.


'You see how [Nathan] Ake stops there, I think that is poor defending, he has got to continue and expect the goalkeeper to parry that. He has tried to play offside, but there is no guarantees with offside particularly with VAR.


'Valencia is sharper, it's another goal for him and it sets up an amazing final game between Ecuador and Senegal. That's going to be a big one.'


Ecuador's four points from two games mean that the Senegal match on Tuesday will decide who qualifies from the group, with Qatar already eliminated as a consequence of the draw. Holland also have four points heading into their fixture against the hosts.



However, Ecuador may have to learn how to score without their main man, as Valencia was withdrawn on a stretcher in stoppage time. It is not yet clear if the injury would rule him out of the Senegal match next week.


Eusebio was the first man to score six consecutive World Cup goals for his country in 1966, achieving the feat by scoring the last two in Portugal's final group stage win against Brazil and the opening four in Portugal's 5-3 defeat of North Korea at Goodison Park.


Rossi achieved the feat with a hat-trick in a second-stage group game against Brazil in 1982, which he followed up with a brace against Poland in the semi-final, and the opening goal in the final which Italy won 3-1.


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Salenko scored a penalty in one group game before hitting the first five Russian goals in the next to secure his name among those who have achieved the feat in 1994.


It makes Valencia's achievement all the more unique, because his six goals came across two tournaments eight years apart.

Post credit: Daily Mail


 


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