World Cup: Ecuador, second place

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It started with a bang. Apart from the first defeat in Argentina, Ecuador starts the 2022 World Cup qualifiers with three consecutive successes and in style. Bolivia (3-2), especially Uruguay (4-2) and Colombia (6-1) are ahead of the Ecuadorian fury. Later ? Roller coasters. Wins here and there, six defeats and scattered draws, notably against the Albiceleste and Brazil. It is enough to break the fourth place in the Amsud zone and go directly to Qatar without going through the barrier box. Qualifying for the fourth finals in its history, the South American side is therefore no longer a novelty or interest in the competition. On the other hand, he still has things to prove. It is not the last Copa America that has been contested in the summer of 2021 to say otherwise. Hardworking as can be (five games, three draws and two defeats), Tri struggles to convince and leaves a taste: to do the best and the worst.

However, the best is hoped for Gustavo Alfaro and his team this fall. June’s outings against Nigeria (1-0), Cape Verde (1-0) and Mexico (0-0) further assured the South Americans of their ability to steal second place behind the Low Countries. The goal was announced by the head coach. Moreover, it is so superstitious that the latter can say that the only time that Ecuador inherits Pool A and the host nation is when the contract is fulfilled. In 2006, he qualified for the round of 16 against England in Germany. Best performance to date.

Star: Enner Valencia

The current player of “Fenerbahce”, known for his games in “Everton” and “West Ham” in Europe, is the best scorer in the history of the selection. A former winger turned centre-forward, Tri’s captain is also set to play in his second World Cup since the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. A match in which a striker scores three goals for his team in the group stage. Distrust!


Lyrics: Jackson Porozo

Jackson PorozoPhoto credit – Icon Sport

The month of June 2022 is forever etched in the mind of the central defender. Before blowing out his twenty-second candle a few weeks later (August 4), the San Lorenzo man made his debut for the national team against Cape Verde (1:0), then transformed the club step by step. The former player of Boavista (Por) has indeed signed up for Troyes in Ligue 1 to take a new step in his career.

Head coach: Gustavo Alfaro

The Argentinian technician, former coach of Rosario Central or, more recently, Boca Juniors, was entrusted with the helm of Tri in the summer of 2020, with a simple goal: to select for Qatar. Mission accomplished, defeating Peru, Chile and Colombia in particular. The 60-year-old coach envisages a fight with Qatar and Senegal for the second place after the Netherlands, which he considers to be the favorite in the pool.

Legend: Antonio Valencia

Unstoppable on the right-hand side, bred as a midfielder, he popularized Ecuadorian football in the 21st century. In “Manchester United” for ten years (2009-2019), the South American rocket has been collecting trophies under the “Red Devils” tunic. Having been retired for a year and a half, he has close to a hundred caps and two in particular at the World Cup. Including 2014 with the captain’s armband as a bonus.

Expert’s eye: Gerardo España Larreta (Radio Caravana journalist)

“All the Ecuadorian players come from the clubs’ schools and are therefore adapted to Gustavo Alfaro’s system. It is a fast team that likes to rush into space. He plays dynamic football with players with good technique. Another feature: due to the youth of the workforce, it puts all kinds of pressure on its competitors. Senegal and the Netherlands are two very formidable opponents, but Ecuador’s fate lies between their legs. »

to summarize

Ecuador, having qualified for the fourth World Cup, is no longer really a novelty or interest. However, the South American selection still has things to prove in the tournament. Note the Ecuador option.

Florian Sermaise

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