Ecuador plays valiantly but leaves World Cup after the first round

Ecuador opened up their group stage with a heartbreaking loss to Switzerland who broke a 1-1 tie in the waning minutes of the game to win the game. Ecuador rebounded in their second game to defeat Honduras. However, the team was held to a scoreless draw in their third game against group winner France, after going down to ten men when team leader Antonio Valencia was given a red card, somewhat unfairly, for a reckless challenge. Of the 7 South American teams playing the World Cup, Ecuador was the only one not to make it to the round of 16, but they showed flashes of excellent play and were just a little bit unlucky (on top of the horrible luck in qualifying play when their top scorer died of a heart attack during a game).

Hopefully, like the United States, they will have a better showing in 4 years.

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