WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Ecuador

WORLD CUP PREVIEW: Ecuador

COACH – Reinaldo Rueda
BEST SHOWING – 2nd Round 2006
QUALIFICATION – 4th in CONMEBOL
TOURNAMENT ODDS – 200/1 (Coral)
FIXTURES
June 15th – Switzerland (1700 BST, Brasilia, ITV)
June 20th – Honduras (2300 BST, Curitiba, ITV)
June 25th – France (2100 BST, Rio de Janeiro, BBC)

 

Button France Button Switzerland Button Honduras

 

Ecuador’s passage to Brazil was more or less secured in the penultimate CONMEBOL qualifier as a 1-0 home win over Uruguay left the Uruguayans needing to defeat Argentina by five goals in the final round of games. Uruguay could only manage a 3-2 win, consigning them to a meeting with Jordan.

All this came in the aftermath of Christian Benitez’s death last year of heart failure. The Ecuadorian perception is that they can only win in Quito due to the altitude but away wins in Australia and Portugal have proved they can win with conditions less favourable to them.

 

 

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ONE TO WATCH

05 WORLD CUP ValenciaIt’s been a disappointing season for Valencia at club level but he carries the hopes of his nation at the World Cup. The captain, leader and role model to his Ecuadorian teammates could have a huge bearing on his team’s chances at the World Cup.

If he can avoid overcomplicating things and focus on his delivery from the wing, Felipe Caicedo could benefit hugely.

Whilst Valencia hasn’t had a fine season, at his best he’s a direct and speedy option which opposition full backs won’t like one bit.

As leader of the side, Valencia has warned his teammates of complacency in the group saying: “Sometimes we think games are won before they’re played” – any such approach will see Ecuador be first round casualties.

HERE COMES D-JUDGE
D-Judge

Ecuador come into the World Cup with the perception that they’re the weakest of the South American nations. Whilst that isn’t entirely untrue Ecuador still have a chance here.

They’ll look to get at teams and adopt a more direct approach but with their familiarity with altitude and tough conditions they’ll work hard and stamina won’t be an issue.

Defence is a weakness and should Valencia or Montero go down with injury or suspension, they lack depth on the wings which limits their potency up front.

Self-belief is an issue and Ecuador need to find the belief that they can win out of Quito. They’ve shown they can trouble anybody on their day, whether they can put it together in the World Cup is a different issue.

 

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VERDICT

Defensive weakness makes me think they’ll fall at the group stage. If they can advance, Argentina likely await so it’s tough to see anything better than the last 16.

world cup Brasil emblem 01

Agustin Dan-gado (D-Good)
Owls Alive
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TWITTER: @OwlsAlive or @DGood83


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