Curate Omnes

Pay attention, everybody

Thursday, June 15, 2006

Ecuador 3 - 0 Costa Rica (fulltime)

Ecuador was the better team, end to end, today. The second half started out with plenty of attacking pressures from Costa Rica, but there wasn't anything new to them, just more of it. As such, the Ecuadorians spent some nervous minutes soaking up the pressure, but the Ticos didn't have the solution to their defense today.

The Ecuadorians began to wrest the game from the Ticos in the 8th minute of the second half. From inside the area, Valencia sent a cross in front of the six-yard box to Delgado, who unleashed a powerful scissors-kick volley. Unfortunately, Porras was perfectly positioned and took the shot calmly into this arms. However, one minute later he wasn't so lucky, as Edison Mendez chiped the ball over two Costa Rican defenders to Delgado, who took it on his chest and then volleyed past the keeper at the near post. A beautiful play and one of the best goals scored so far in the Cup. 2 - 0 for the Ecuadorians.

The goal increased the pressure on the Ticos and they kept trying to get those goals they so desperately need. Solis had a great run from the middle of the field into the area, but Mora parried his shot to give up a corner. If Solis had been able to get past Mora, it would certainly have been a top goal not only of this Cup, but for all time. Costa Rica wasn't able to do anything with the resulting free kick, however, and Solis' efforts go unrewarded.

Ecuador, for its part, wasn't content to lie back and let the result stand, however, and they were effective in keeping the Costa Ricans on the defensive. In the end, it was Ecuador who found the third goal, with another excellent team play two minutes into extra time. Mendez was again the creative force behind the goal, as he places yet another perfect cross, this time met by Ivan Kaviedes for a simple tap-in volley.

With this result, Group A is mostly settled. Ecuador, with six points and a goal difference of +5, sits at the head of the Group A over Germany, with their six points and a goal difference of +3. The Ecuadorians have played impressively over these past two matches and they have a bit of an advantage going to their game with Germany, as they only need a tie to secure first place in the group. However, I doubt they'll play for one as their success so far has been owed to aggressively and intelligently pressing for goals. I expect them to come out with the same sort of attitude and give the Germans a fight for the leadership of the group.

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