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Rediff.com  » Sports » Ecuador tear Poles apart

Ecuador tear Poles apart

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June 10, 2006 02:58 IST

Ecuador produced the first shock of the World Cup in the tournament's second match when they beat Poland 2-0 with goals in each half by Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado in Group A on Friday.

After Tenorio scored in the 24th minute Ecuador, ranked fourth among the South American qualifiers and competing in the finals for the second time, had to show terrific defensive fortitude to hold off the Poles in the second half.

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Delgado then settled it with 10 minutes remaining to put Ecuador alongside Germany at the top of the group on three points after the hosts beat Costa Rica 4-2 in the tournament's exciting opening match earlier on Friday in Munich.

It was only Ecuador's second competitive win away from the rarefied atmosphere of Quito since the last World Cup but if they repeat it against Costa Rica next week they could reach the second round even if they lose to Germany in their final game.

For Poland it was a repeat of four years ago when they opened with a 2-0 defeat by hosts South Korea and failed to progress to the last 16. They seem set for another early flight home having failed to score in their opener for the fifth time.

It was not a situation that looked likely in the first 20 minutes as the Poles looked confident and controlled.

However, as they failed to trouble goalkeeper Christian Mora, Ecuador grew in confidence and got their reward with a well-created goal in the 24th minute.  

Ulises De La Cruz launched a long throw into the box, Delgado flicked it on and Tenorio timed his run perfectly to glance a header past Boruc.

The goal stunned the Poles and they had to weather a storm for the rest of the half as Ecuador pressed for a second.

They should have got it when Carlos Tenorio crossed for Delgado, who sidefooted over the bar from close range.

Poland Coach Pawel Janas, who began the match with Maciej Zurawski as a lone striker, pushed Ebi Smolarek up in support after the break.

They certainly looked more dangerous but the final ball was too often loose, and when they did close in the Ecuadorean back four proved athletically adept at getting the vital touch.

As the Poles pushed forward they were caught out on the break by substitute Ivan Kaviedes who broke on the right and rolled the ball for Delgado to touch into an empty net.

It was exactly four years to the day that Delgado scored Ecuador's first ever goal at a World Cup finals.

Mitch Phillips
Source:
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