The CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers in South America had their first round of group stage matches held during this international break.
Matchday 2 was especially productive in terms of the number of goals scored: there were a total of 20 goals scored in five matches, with Ecuadorian attacker Gonzalo Plata’s sublime strike being the cream of the crop.
Ecuador’s 4-2 win against Uruguay at the Estadio Rodrigo Paz Delgado in Quito was lit up by an outstanding effort from Gonzalo Plata.
The substitute came on from the bench in the 69th minute to try and further consolidate his team’s three-goal lead, and it took him less than five minutes to get his name on the scoresheet: in one of the best ways that he could’ve imagined to score his first goal for the Ecuador national team.
When an incisive pass from midfielder Alan Franco split the Uruguayan defence to send the Ecuadorian attacker through on goal, Plata’s skillful use of his quick feet forced a helpless Ronald Araujo to commit early into a challenge.
Plata made the Barcelona defender look incredibly silly, and calmly slotted the ball to the left of goalkeeper Martin Campana with the expertise of a seasoned veteran.
Gonzalo Plata scored 🇪🇨 Ecuador’s rather saucy 4th in a 4-2 win over 🇺🇾 Uruguay last night.— Ranks FC (@RankSquad) October 14, 2020
He won a move to 🇵🇹 Sporting CP after shining at the 2019 U20 South American Youth Champs. Now he’s making MOVES for the senior side💃 pic.twitter.com/MWFokmTtPG
#ECUvsURU | Estadio Casa Blanca.— Futbol Sin Codigos (@FutbolSinCodigo) October 13, 2020
Revive el cuarto gol de Ecuador | GOOOOOOOLAZO de Gonzalo Plata. #LaTri 4-0 #LaCeleste
🔃 Si estas orgulloso de ser ecuatoriano 🇪🇨#Ecuador | #Uruguay pic.twitter.com/xyVKxvKvNV
It was almost as if Plata was playing a game of FIFA Street mode on his console: the Uruguayan rear guard simply proved too slow to contain him.
The 19-year-old plays as a wide attacker for Sporting CP in Liga NOS, the first tier of Portuguese club football after joining in the summer of 2019 from Ecuadorian club Independiente.
It was Plata’s debut goal for his international team in his fourth appearance on the senior level, having represented Ecuador previously in the U20 age group: most significantly, in the 2019 FIFA U20 World Cup in Poland where the Ecuadorian U20 team won third place.
The precocious talent that he is, Plata took the Bronze Ball home from Poland: as he received a lot of accolades and was chosen as the third best player in the tournament.