Ecuador - Team Profile

Ecuador made their World Cup finals debut in 2002, drawn with Italy, Mexico and Croatia

Manager: Reinaldo Rueda

Best finish: Second round (2006).

World Cup record: Played 10, Won 4, Drawn 1, Lost 5.

History

Ecuador made their World Cup finals debut in 2002, drawn in what proved to be a deathly group alongside Italy, Mexico and Croatia. Despite beating Croatia, they finished bottom. They fared a whole heap better at the 2006 finals, beating Poland and Costa Rica to finish behind Germany in their group, losing out to England in the last 16.

Whiteboard

Their March friendly against Australia in London was revealing: 3-0 down, won 4-3. Dodgy at the back, then, but there's goals in them there forwards. And plenty of spirit, too. Manager Reinaldo Rueda generally favours a 4-4-2 formation, midfielders Cristian Noboa and Segundo Castillo the men trusted in the engine room.

All Star – Jefferson Montero

Manchester United's Antonio Valencia is the best known export but he's spent a season crossing to the far corner flag. On the left flank is Mexico-based Jefferson Montero, who narrowly escaped a move to Cardiff after spells in Spain. If he can put his pace to good use, he might just get back to Europe.

County Colours – Longford

Hard-workers, gutsy, good team spirit, but it gets them nowhere.

Pundit's Corner – Marty Morrissey: "We've just got a text from Mary in Ecuador and she thinks they have a chance!"

Prospects

Unbeatable in home qualifiers in the altitude of Quito, only dropping points to Argentina in a 1-1 draw. They were less convincing on their travels, failing to win in eight. Still, they qualified by beating Uruguay to fourth. Have a bit to find on Group E rivals France and Switzerland, we think, but a result against Honduras in their second game and who knows?

SQUAD

Goalkeepers: 1 Maximo Banguera (Barcelona, Ecu), 12 Adrian Bone (El Nacional), 22 Alexander Dominguez (Liga de Quito).

Defenders: 2 Jorge Guagua (Emelec), 3 Frickson Erazo (Flamengo, Bra), 4 Juan Carlos Paredes (Barcelona, Ecu), 18 Oscar Bagui (Emelec), 21 Gabriel Achilier (Emelec).

Midfielders: 5 Alex Ibarra (Vitesse Arnhem, Ned), 6 Christian Noboa (Dinamo Moscow, Rus), 7 Jefferson Montero (Morelia, Mex), 8 Edison Mendez (Santa Fe, Col), 10 Walter Ayovi (Pachuca, Mex), 14 Oswalso Minda (Chivas/USA), 15 Michael Arroyo (Atlante, Mex), 16 Antonio Valencia (Manchester United, Eng), 19 Luis Saritama (Barcelona, Ecu), 20 Fidel Martinez (Tijuana, Mex), 23 Carlos Gruezo (Stuttgart, Ger).

Forwards: 9 Joao Rojas (Cruz Azul, Mex), 11 Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira, Abu Dhabi), 13 Enner Valencia (Pachuca, Mex), 17 Jaime Ayovi (Tijuana, Mex), 10 Walter Ayovi;

TEAM LINE-UPS

ECUADOR (v Switzerland): 22 Alexander Dominguez; 4 Juan Carlos Paredes (yc), 2 Jorge Guagua, 3 Frickson Erazo; 16 Antonio Valencia, 6 Christian Noboa, 23 Carlos Gruezo, 7 Jefferson Montero (9 Joao Rojas, 77 mins); 11 Felipe Caicedo (15 Michael Arroyo, 70 mins), 13 Enner Valencia.

ECUADOR (v Honduras): 22 Alexander Dominguez; 4 Juan Carlos Paredes, 2 Jorge Guagua, 3 Frickson Erazo, 10 Walter Ayovi; 6 Christian Noboa, 14 Oswalso Minda (23 Carlos Gruezo, 83 mins); 16 Antonio Valencia (yc), 11 Felipe Caicedo (8 Edison Mendez, 82 mins), 13 Enner Valencia (yc),  7 Jefferson Montero (yc) (21 Gabriel Achilier, 90 + 2 mins).

ECUADOR (v France): 22 Alexander Dominguez; 4 Juan Carlos Paredes, 2 Jorge Guagua, 3 Frickson Erazo (yc), 10 Walter Ayovi; 14 Oswalso Minda, 6 Christian Noboa (11 Felipe Caicedo, 89 mins); 16 Antonio Valencia (rc), 7 Jefferson Montero (5 Alex Ibarra, 63 mins), 15 Michael Arroyo (21 Gabriel Achilier, 82 mins);13 Enner Valencia.