Football: Ecuador Make History as They Cruise through ; WORLD CUP 2006
Garcia-Bennett, Cindy, The Independent (London, England)
Tenorio 8, Delgado 54 Kaviedes 90
Ecuador qualified for the second phase of the World Cup for the first time in their history with this comfortable win, which also sends Germany through to the second round and Poland out.
The South American side were in charge from the eighth minute, when Carlos Tenorio opened the scoring. Agustin Delgado added a second shortly after the re-start, and substitute Ivan Kaviedes wrapped up a wonderful afternoon struck his team's third in injury time to send their supporters at the Hamburg Arena into raptures.
Ecuador, who are competing in their second World Cup finals, dominated the opening half against a toothless Costa Rica, who offered little opposition. Los Ticos did show some signs of revival after the re-start but their attempts to salvage their hopes of remaining in the tournament were shattered with Delgado's 54th- minute goal.
The Ecuador coach, Luis Suarez, praised his side's qualification to the second phase of the World Cup as historic. "Today is a very important day for Ecuador, a historic day," said the Colombian-born Suarez. Despite the seven-hour time difference, fans in Quito had already poured on to the streets to get the fiesta started early in the morning. "It's a day of celebration for Ecuador," added Suarez.
His side had gained plenty of confidence in their 2-0 win against Poland and they proved to be the most effective side again here.
With their World Cup hopes hanging by a thread, Costa Rica looked nervous and rarely threatened the Ecuador goalkeeper Cristian Mora in the opening half.
Alexandre Guimaraes made just one change to the team that lost 4- 2 against Germany in their opener, with Harold Wallace replacing injured defender Gilberto Martinez, while Ecuador relied on the same starting XI that beat Poland with surprising assurance.
Costa Rica made un-forced errors from the beginning and Ecuador made them pay early on for their indecision. The impressive Luis Valencia's cross from the right found Tenorio on the edge of the six- yard box. His bouncing header beat Costa Rica goalkeeper Jose Porras.
Costa Rica attempted to react but failed to break down Ecuador's defence, which was again well organised. In an attempt to give more strength to his players up front, Guimaraes made his first substitution shortly before the half-hour mark, with forward Alvaro Saborio replacing midfielder Danny Fonseca.
But it was still Ecuador who were calling the shots, with Edison Mendez's free-kick going high over the crossbar. At the other end, Walter Centeno tried his luck from the distance but his right- footed effort went off-target.
Finally, Costa Rica put something together, and two minutes before half-time Douglas Sequeira latched on to Leonardo Gonzalez's cross from the left but his header missed the target. …