Enner Valencia Ecuador Noel Valladares Honduras
Ecuador forward Enner Valencia squeezes the ball past Honduras goalkeeper Noel Valladares in their FIFA World Cup 2014 Group E game, 20 JuneReuters

Prior to the start of the FIFA World Cup 2014, Ecuador would have been banking on a man named Valencia, someone who has been playing at the top of the pops in the game to inspire them to the knockout rounds. But it's not the man with the first name of Antonio who has shone in this World Cup, but a Valencia with the first name of Enner, whose two goals on Friday helped Ecuador jump up to second in Group E.

Ecuador needed a win to realistically keep their hopes of qualifying for the last 16 alive, and they did just that courtesy a hard-fought 2-1 win over Honduras in Curitiba, with Enner Valencia bagging a brace.

Carlo Costly gave Honduras the lead just past the half hour mark with a nice left-footed strike, before Valencia equalised for Ecuador just three minutes later, forcing the ball home after it fell kindly to the forward off a deflected effort from Juan Paredes.

It took Ecuador until the 65th minute to take the decisive lead, with Valencia rising high to head home a nice cross from veteran Walter Ayovi for his third goal in the tournament.

"The match panned out as we imagined it would," said Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda, who coached Honduras in the last World Cup finals. "Both teams needed to win and both tried to play well. Even though we went behind, we got our goals at decisive moments and that put us in charge of the match.

"I do have some contrasting emotions after beating Honduras but fortunately we ended up as winners. We know that reaching the next round isn't entirely in our own hands but we need to focus on our own game.

"We'll have to play as well or even better than we did today to beat France because they're a side that have grown a lot in the last few months."

Ecuador, who are level on three points with Switzerland, need a win against France in their last match, with the Swiss expected to get the better of Honduras. However, in this World Cup of surprises, it wouldn't be that eyebrow raising a result if Honduras shock a result and sneak through to the last 16, as long as France top Ecuador.

"It was a very hard-fought match," current Honduras coach and former Ecuador manager Luis Suarez said. "I think we had a bit of difficulty keeping our nerves in check given what was at stake in the game, but I'm satisfied with my team.

"We played well but they played a bit better -- they had more of the ball, took more shots and got the goals.

"We know it'll be tough to reach the next round, but it'd be even worse to have been knocked out already. We need to find a way to improve in order to win and while there's hope, we won't give up without a fight."