Ecuador meet hosts Qatar in Group A of the 2022 World Cup, but has La Tri been to the Fifa tournament before? HITC Football takes a look at their tournament records to date…
Led by Argentina coach Gustavo Alfaro, Ecuador snuck through the CONMEBOL qualifying campaign to reach the 2022 edition. La Tri avoided qualifying in the inter-confederations play-offs with a game remaining after picking up 26 points from seven wins in 18 games.
Peru finished the qualifying campaign just two points behind Ecuador after playing two draws fewer. However, the narrow lead ultimately proved costly as La Blanquirroja lost to Australia on penalties in the play-offs. After extra time, they played a goalless draw.
Ecuador’s reward for qualifying for the 2022 World Cup was a place in Group A with Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands. La Tri will also play in the opening match against Maroon on November 20th at Al Bayt Stadium in Al Khor before the games on the 25th and 29th.
The 2022 World Cup in Qatar is Ecuador’s return to the tournament after failing to qualify for the 2018 edition in Russia. La Tri are also hoping that the 2022 edition will mark their return to the knockout stages, having only progressed through the group stage once so far.
Ecuador has already participated in the World Cup three times, qualifying for the 2002, 2006 and 2014 editions. With that in mind, HITC Football takes a look back at the South American nation’s tournament records to date, having first attempted to qualify in 1962.
Was Ecuador at the Fifa World Cup before the trip to Qatar 2022?
Ecuador have only appeared at a World Cup three times before Qatar, but have attempted to enter the Fifa tournament 15 times. La Tri also initially attempted to compete in the 1950 edition in Brazil, but the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) later withdrew its participation during the qualifying period.
The FEF was founded in 1925 as the Federacion Deportiva Nacional del Ecuador and later became a Fifa member in 1926. Nevertheless, Ecuador decided not to participate in the qualification process for the 1930, ’34 and ’38 World Cups. They also suspended the tournaments for 1954 and ’58.
Ecuador eventually stuck to a qualifying bid for the 1962 World Cup in Chile. However, two losses to Argentina saw their campaign collapse at the very first hurdle as just six nations fought for three places. Paraguay was drawn to compete in the intercontinental play-offs.
Ultimately, it would take Ecuador another 40 years of trial and error to qualify for a World Cup. La Tri attempted to play in every Fifa tournament between Chile 1962 and her eventual first appearance at the 2002 edition co-hosted by Japan and South Korea.
Like the London coaches, a second World Cup qualification was added to Ecuador with just as many attempts. They returned to the global stage in Germany in 2006 and La Tri achieved their best result to date after reaching the round of 16 unlike 2002 or later at Brazil 2014.
How has La Tri fared in their past Fifa tournament appearances?
At the 2002 World Cup in Japan and South Korea, Fifa faced Ecuador and Italy as well as Mexico and Croatia in Group G. A first game at the tournament against then three-time champions Italy immediately sent La Tri’s campaign behind as they lost the tie 2-0.
Agustin Delgado gave Ecuador hopes of a better result in the second game after scoring just five minutes into the encounter with Mexico. But Jared Borgetti spoiled La Tri’s party before Gerardo Torrado converted the ball early in the second half to win 2-1.
Edison Mendez, however, would ensure Ecuador left Asia with a win in their first World Cup appearance. The striker scored the only goal of the game in the 1-0 win over Croatia at the International Stadium Yokohama. Although La Tri still finished last in their group.
Ecuador would not get off to such a slow start on their immediate return to the 2006 World Cup. La Tri opened Group A with a 2-0 win over Poland before beating Costa Rica 3-0 to secure a place in the last 16 with one game left. Luckily, because this game was against hosts Germany.
The side secured first place in Group A with a 3-0 win over Ecuador at the Olympiastadion. Miroslav Klose broke out of the stalemate in Berlin before Lukas Podolski, winner of this summer’s Best Young Player award, after the Added a third at halftime to finish the job.
Finishing the first round in runners-up gave Ecuador a tough hand in the round of 16 that La Tri couldn’t beat. David Beckham’s free-kick from 30 yards out at the near post sent England through to the quarter-finals with the only goal of the encounter in Stuttgart.
Ecuador would not return to the World Cup as Fifa brought the tournament to South Africa in 2010. But La Tri returned for her final appearance in 2014 when the competition went to Brazil. But their run would only survive the group stage as France and Switzerland progressed.
Switzerland put Ecuador behind in the first game of Group E with a 2-1 win in Brasilia. La Tri would react in Curitiba, beating Honduras 2-1. But a 0-0 draw in Rio de Janeiro against leaders France meant Ecuador finished two points behind Switzerland.
Another disappointing qualifying campaign would follow for La Tri as they failed to earn a place in Russia 2018. Now Ecuador is hoping the 2022 World Cup will be more akin to Germany 2022’s edition after being drawn against host country Qatar in the group stage.
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