When Qatar and Ecuador meet this Sunday on the field of the Al Bayt stadium in Doha, the 2022 World Cup will officially begin with that match corresponding to Group A (Netherlands and Senegal complete the key).
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And although for the Tricolor it will be their second clash against a home owner in a FIFA World Cup (in 2006 they were a rival against Germany, on the closing day of zone A), against the Qataris it will be the first against the local team as the only premiere commitment.
Against teams from Europe, Ecuador started its three previous appearances in the World Cups. How did the Tri do in its absolute debut in the World Cup, in 2002?
“Fuga de legas”, the report of the AFP agency in Tumaco after the case of Byron Castillo in Ecuador
The debut of the National Team in the Japan-South Korea World Cup was not happy. Seven months passed since he sealed the ticket for that appointment (in November 2001, with the 1-1 draw against Uruguay, in Quito) until June 3, 2002, when in the Japanese city of Sapporo it was heard for the first time the national anthem at a World Cup.
Framed in Group G, the Ecuadorian squad began its participation in 2002 against a universal power: Italy. The victory went to the Azzurri for 2-0.
The journalist Víctor Vera, special envoy of Diario EL UNIVERSO to the 2002 World Cup, wrote the following about that sad premiere of the representative tricolor: “From illusion to reality there is an abyss and Ecuador stagnated in it when it faced Italy, three-time world champion , who in just 26 minutes scored two goals, which later meant defeat for the rookie. Six minutes in, Christian Vieri’s first goal; minute 26, the second of the Bull Vieri. That is to say, the Italians needed 20 minutes to reveal the impotence of the tricolors on the pitch”.
On the side of Guerrón
Two aspects of Ecuador’s initial performance in a World Cup were emphasized: the poor level of winger Raúl Guerrón and the general confusion of the soccer players that the Colombian coach Hernán Roll Gomez sent to the pitch of the Sapporo Dome stadium.
“On the other left wing, the Italians made fun of Raúl Guerrón’s inability, irresolute, erratic, nervous and slow, as many times as they wanted. And it is that in the duel of speed and strength, Ecuadorians never competed ”, published this newspaper in the analysis of Italy 2, Ecuador 0.
In addition, it was mentioned that “with an action like the one carried out in a passage of the match by Alfonso Obregón and Iván Hurtado, waiting for one to react before the other, while the ball waited between them for someone to decide to kick it, it served to summarize a General attitude: passivity and mentally neutralized. Perhaps this made the game easier for the Italians than they imagined. And the impotence was not only seen on the playing field. From the bench, the tantrums and insults of coach Hernán Darío Gómez were not enough to make his managers react.
This was the formation of the Tricolor against Italy: José Francisco Cevallos; Ulises de la Cruz, Augusto Poroso, Iván Hurtado, Raúl Guerrón; Édison Méndez, Cléver Chalá (Nicolás Asencio, 85 minutes), Edwin Tenorio (Marlon Ayoví), Alfonso Obregón, Álex Aguinaga (Carlos Tenorio, 46 minutes); Augustine Delgado. (D)
Selection of Ecuador vs. Italy: This was the debut of the Tricolor in the 2002 World Cup | Soccer | Sports