When they take the field for just the fourth time ever, Ecuador will be hoping to get to the final four for the second time in their existence, the World Cup for the second time in their presence, World Cup.
It was initially unclear whether or not Ecuador would qualify for the 2018 tournament, with Chile and Peru filing appeals owing to the participation of Byron Castillo in the qualifying effort.
The Court of Arbitration for Sport sided with FIFA’s June ruling that Castillo, then 23 years old, could play for Ecuador despite claims from Chile and Peru that he was Colombian and had lied about his age.
Accordingly, La Tricolor will participate in Qatar, and they seem to be in a wide-open Group A with Qatar, Senegal, and the Netherlands. In this article, 10Sportslive analyzes Ecuador’s World Cup possibilities for 2022.
FIFA World Cup Group
Ecuador will begin the game against the hosts Qatar on November 20, and it should be exciting to observe what occurs in the tournament’s first match.
Gustavo Alfaro’s squad will be hoping to win their encounter against Qatar since their next game is on November 25. The match is against the Netherlands, who are likely to be the strongest opponent in their group.
Next, on November 29, Ecuador will play Senegal in their last group-stage encounter, which might be a factor in the South American team’s chances of advancing to the knockout round.
Fixtures of Ecuador’s Matches
- Match 1 – November 20: Qatar vs. Ecuador (4 pm, Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor)
- Match 2 – November 25: Netherlands vs. Ecuador (4 pm, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan)
- Match 3 – November 29: Ecuador vs. Senegal (3 pm, Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan)
How Ecuador Was Qualified
Under their fourth-place performance in South American qualifying, Ecuador advanced to the World Cup finals.
Four teams—Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay, and Ecuador—automatically qualified for the tournament in Qatar since they finished in the top four in their respective groups. Brazil finished with 45 points, Argentina with 39 points, and Uruguay with 28 points.
Group stage results for La Tri were seven wins, five draws, and six losses for 26 points. The team scored 27 goals and allowed 19 for a plus-eight goal differential.
With six wins and a tie in their past seven qualifiers, Ecuador had to feel pretty good about themselves. This was especially true when they played to 1-1 draws against Brazil and Argentina earlier this year.
Although they missed out on the 2018 World Cup, the Tricolors have recent experience in the competition, having participated in 2006 and 2014. Furthermore, the national team showed throughout qualifying that there was plenty of skill inside their group.
Recent Performance Overview of Ecuador
After Saturday’s goalless draw with Iraq, Ecuador won’t play again until their season opener against Qatar on November 20.
The national team has played to a scoreless tie in three consecutive matches, including late-September draws with Saudi Arabia and Japan.
In the middle of June, Ecuador overcame Cape Verde 1-0 in a friendly, and they hadn’t lost a game since March when they were beaten 3-1 by Paraguay.
The squad hadn’t played in a meaningful match since March, when they drew 1-1 with Argentina. Since then, they’ve played six friendlies, winning 1-0 against Nigeria.
Although they have only scored once in their past five matches, Alfaro’s team has not let in a goal since their 1-1 tie with Argentina.
The squad of Ecuador for the FIFA World Cup
- Goalkeepers: Alexander Dominguez (Deportes Tolima), Hernan Galindez (Aucas), Moises Ramirez (Independiente).
- Defenders: Robert Arboleda (Sao Paulo), Xavier Arreaga (Seattle Sounders), Pervis Estupinan (Brighton), Piero Hincapie (Bayer Leverkusen), William Pacho (Royal Antwerp), Diego Palacios (LAFC), Jackson Porozo (Troyes), Angelo Preciado (Genk), Felix Torres (Santos Laguna).
- Midfielders: Moises Caicedo (Brighton), Jose Cifuentes (LAFC), Alan Franco (Talleres), Carlos Grueso (Augsburg), Jhegson Mendez (LAFC), Ayrton Preciado (Santos Laguna), Jeremy Sarmiento (Brighton).
- Forwards: Michael Estrada (Cruz Azul), Romario Ibarra (Pachuca), Angel Mena (Club Leon), Gonzalo Plata (Real Valladolid), Djorkaeff Reasco (Newell’s Old Boys), Kevin Rodriguez (Imbabura SC), Enner Valencia (Fenerbahce).
Star Player of Ecuador – Enner Valencia
Moises Caicedo, 21, is creating a name for himself in the Premier League for Brighton & Hove Albion and is reportedly attracting interest from some of the world’s top teams.
But considering all Enner Valencia has done for the Ecuadorian national team, it’s tough to name anybody else as the team’s best player.
The 33-year-old plays club football for Fenerbahce and scored 35 goals in 74 international games, making him his country’s all-time best scorer. Agustin Delgado is second on the all-time scoring list.
Before joining Fenerbahce in Turkey in 2020, Valencia played for West Ham United and Everton in England’s Premier League.
The striker will try to add to the three goals he scored for Ecuador in the 2014 World Cup and help his team’s chances of winning the 2022 championship.
Ecuador’s Team Manager – Gustavo Alfaro
Since 2020, when he took over as Ecuador’s manager, Alfaro has been preparing for his first World Cup in Qatar.
The 60-year-old is a well-traveled former midfielder for Atletico de Rafaela (from 1988 to 1992). He has worked in football administration since 1992.
In fact, after his playing career, Alfaro has had 17 management posts, most recently at Boca Juniors, before accepting to assume leadership of Ecuador in August 2020.
This is his first managerial role in international football, although he has already won the Supercopa Argentina and the Superliga Argentina with Boca Juniors.
World Cup Record – Best Finish: Round of 16 (2006)
Having advanced no farther than the group stage in both of its previous World Cup appearances, this will be Ecuador’s third and last World Cup (2002 and 2014).
But in 2006, they made it to the round of 16!, placing second in Group A. They were behind Germany and ahead of Poland and Costa Rica, who tied for third and fourth.
The Ecuadorian national football team went 2-1-0 in their three matches, with victories over Poland and Costa Rica, where they scored five goals and allowed none, and a loss against Germany when they were shut out 3-0.
In the first round of elimination, La Tricolor faced England and lost 1-0 when David Beckham scored the game-winning goal for the Three Lions in the 60th minute.
Prediction on Ecuador’s World Cup Journey 2022
To ensure their spot in the competition’s knockout round, Ecuador will need to play at their very best against Senegal for the opportunity to finish in second place in Group A.
Even though the Ecuadorian side has a great deal of skill, as was seen by their qualifying campaign, we believe that Senegal will join the Netherlands in the competition’s knockout stage, which would place Ecuador in third place in the group, ahead of the hosts, Qatar.