BRASILIA – Gp E: Switzerland 2 Ecuador 1
—- Switzerland’s opening win in Group E began with thousands of seats still empty and long snaking queues outside the Estadio Nacional Mane Garrincha after the overnight introduction of more rigorous security searches.
A firework-throwing incident on the second day and the appearance of a musical band drumming up support for Ivory Coast against Japan last night had prompted a change in the originally relaxed attitude.
On Saturday an organisers’ spokesman had said that searches would be stepped up but the message did not penetrate as far as Recife where the Ivoriens had lively orchestral support.
Saint-Clair Milesi, for the organisers, told the a media briefing in Rio de Janeiro: “It’s written on the tickets that it’s not allowed to bring instrument in so that was one of our failures and we have to review it.
“We have worked strongly on access control to ensure everyone has the same access to a fantastic environment.
“We don’t want to stop the party but obviously instruments can affect people nearby.”
The tighter checks meant many Ecuador fans in Brasilia thus missed seeing their team take the lead in the 20th minute when Enner Valencia headed home a left-wing free kick from Walter Ayovi.
Switzerland hit back to win in the second with goals from substitutes Admir Mehmedi (47) and last-ditch Haris Seferovic on a killing counter-attack in the third minute of stoppage time.