Ecuador National Football Team
Ecuador’s football team is one with a history of unique moments. Life can’t be easy surrounded by some of the great footballing nations such as Brazil and Argentina.
Despite the high expectations often placed on the team, Ecuador doesn’t have a huge trophy cabinet when it comes to football. Having said that, there have been occasions when the team has fought it out with some of the best sides in the world.
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Sunday November 20 – Qatar vs Ecuador (Al Bayt Stadium, Al Khor; kick-off 17:00 CEST).
Friday November 25 – Netherlands vs Ecuador (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 5pm).
Tuesday November 29 – Ecuador vs Senegal (Khalifa International Stadium, Al Rayyan; kick-off 4pm).
Ecuador National Football British Links
As is so often the case, not just in South America but the world, Ecuador’s beginnings in football are linked to Britain. The widely accepted story is that Ecuadorian football began when an Ecuadorian man who had moved to England for university returned home to set up a football club in 1899.
Despite getting on board the bandwagon fairly early, Ecuador ultimately had to wait over a century until they got to compete in their first World Cup. For the inaugural World Cup in 1930, FIFA was enthusiastic about Ecuador taking part, but the country’s government refused the offer.
A Slow but Successful Start
It would be a whole eight years more until the Ecuador national football team played their first official national game. However, it looked like things were worth the wait in many ways. That first match, a 1-1 draw with Bolivia to kick off the I Bolivarian Games, set Ecuador on the path to collecting a bronze medal in their first-ever tournament.
Competing in the Region
In the post-war years, South American football began to really take shape and the South American championship, now known as Copa America, became a hugely coveted trophy. Ecuador’s fourth-place finish at the 1959 tournament marked a new standard for the team, and soon after, they began competing in World Cup qualifiers.
Struggling to Get on the Global Stage
The fans were forced to wait a long time until they could see the team line up in the sport’s most prestigious competition. Finally, in 1998 the team came closer than ever before as they benefited hugely from the change in the regional qualifying format. However, they would ultimately have to wait another four years.
First World Cup Appearance
In 2002, Ecuador national football finally achieved its first runout at the World Cup finals. For a debutant side, Ecuador put up a good fight. They even earned themselves a win against Croatia. However, the team could not make it past the group stage.
With a taste of the tournament now, the team repeated their qualification successes and got a second shot for glory at the 2006 World Cup. Ecuador built on their last showing by qualifying for the knockouts for the first time in their history, although they soon looked out of their depth.
Looking to the Future
While the team is far from consistent, qualification for major tournaments has been normalized, and fans are hoping the team’s ascent will continue. Ecuador national football goes into the 2022 World Cup in Qatar placed 44th in the FIFA world rankings.
Ecuador national football Team Trivia
- Ecuador’s largest ever defeat was against Argentina in 1942. The 12-0 thumping shows how far the team has come. Ecuador’s modern team puts up a much better challenge, even if they still lag slightly behind the continent’s best teams.
- Despite not competing in the competition for over a century since the sport was first introduced to the country, Ecuador will have five World Cup appearances to its name since 2002 by the end of the Qatar World Cup.