Tommy Oar rocketed home a 35-yard free-kick in the 89th minute to snatch Australia a 1-1 draw with Ecuador in their Group C opener at the FIFA U-20 World Cup. Juan Govea had put the South American's ahead in the first half, and they never looked like relinquishing the lead until the winger's moment of magic.
Ecuador could, and should, have found themselves behind within 30 seconds of kick-off. Kofi Danning found himself all alone at the back post, and though a looping cross fell towards him, he sliced the ball into the side-netting from eight yards. The No7 almost atoned for his error on 14 minutes, producing a superb cross for Marc Warren, whose header was impressively saved by John Jaramillo
Ecuador then came into the game. First, Juan Govea fired over when well positioned, 12 yards out, and then Edson Montano spun sharply but mis-cued his shot.
A goal wouldn't elude La Tri for much longer. Midway through the half, Marcos Caicedo beat two men down the right and although Mark Birighitti parried his fierce low shot across goal, Govea got to it before his marker and smashed the ball into the roof of the net from six yards.
There was very little action throughout the remainder of the period, with a lot of wayward passing, but Ecuador probed for a second goal once the action recommenced. On 48 minutes, Caicedo whipped in a fine cross and although Govea rose highest, his header went just over the bar.
Ecuador produced an excellent move on 52 minutes. Edder Fuertes dummied his way past two Australians and fed Marlon de Jesus, who tapped it to Caicedo with his first touch. The No11 turned and played a delightful pass back into the path of De Jesus, inside the box, but his low drive from a difficult angle went wide.
The game was starved of noteworthy action thereafter. Oar fired a firm, low shot wide on 66 minutes, and Dylan McGowan had a header that went just over, but it looked as though they were headed for defeat.
Then, out of nothing, Oar produced a goal of the tournament contender to the delight of the vociferous Aussies present.