Thiago Silva was part of a Brazil side whose 30-game unbeaten run in World Cup qualifiers came under threat on Thursday but who earned a draw away against Ecuador.
In a game of high drama, plenty VAR-based, both sides played the vast majority of it with 10 players and a further two red cards, both shown to Liverpool keeper Alisson, were withdrawn on review. Brazil took the lead early on in Quito but their opponents equalised late in the game for a 1-1 draw.
Thiago Silva’s team secured their place at the World Cup in Qatar back in November. They had four qualifiers left to play going into a match against an Ecuador side very much in the shake-up for one of two remaining South American qualification places (Argentina are also already through).
However Ecuador had goalkeeper Alexander Dominguez dismissed as early as the 15th minute for an extraordinary studs-up challenge into the chest of Matheus Cunha, but the numbers were evened up soon after when Brazil and Tottenham full-back Emerson Royal was shown his second yellow card.
It could have been even worse for the Selecao had the red card shown to Alisson for another high boot in the first half not been downgraded to a yellow after a VAR review.
The Brazil goal had come as early as the sixth minute when Real Madrid’s Casemiro forced the ball over the goal-line after the pressure had stayed on following a half-cleared corner.
Ecuador hit the net in the second half but had the goal ruled out for the ball having gone out of play and then they had a penalty given but then taken away when the referee reviewed it.
Thiago Silva and his colleagues looked to be heading to victory but with quarter-of-an-hour remaining, a near-post corner headed in by defender Felix Torres levelled the scores.
That was not the end of the action as in added time, a penalty and a second yellow card were awarded against Alisson but after a lengthy VAR process, it was decided he had punched the ball marginally before making contact with an opponent (pictured top) so both decisions were overturned and the chance for Ecuador to turn one point into three evaporated.
Brazil next take on Paraguay on Tuesday.