Poland 0 Ecuador 2: Delgado on mark as Ecuador shake Poles

The team from altitude showed some attitude. Ecuador provided a shock in Group A, comfortably defeating Poland, and opened up the possibility that they may meet England should both nations qualify for the last 16. Not that, in truth, there should be too much for England to fear.

Both goals were fashioned with Premiership influences. Agustin Delgado, a horrendous mis-fit at Southampton, created one and scored the other. The second had a whiff of offside but it was as nothing to the stench the Poles, and their beleaguered coach Pawel Janas, now face.

It is the fifth time in a row that they have failed to score in their opening game at a World Cup finals. They struck the crossbar and post late on but were anaemic throughout. By the end, their 35,000 supporters in the stadium, who had poured over the border in expectation, were rebellious, angry and deflated. The South Americans celebrated, having shaken off the tag that they can only win where the air is thin.

This is only their second World Cup, and they finished bottom of their group in 2002, but they have clearly learnt lessons, guided by an astute coach in the Colombian Luis Fernando Suarez. He said: "We achieved our expectations, this is just a step."

But a mighty one at that. The breakthrough came midway through the first half. A throw-in by Aston Villa outcast Ulises de la Cruz, who impressed, was flicked on by Delgado and his strike partner Carlos Tenorio stole in front of Marcin Baszczynski to neatly guide his header past Celtic's Artur Boruc. Delgado almost added a second but scooped Tenorio's drag-back over, while de la Cruz had Boruc scrambling.

After the break, the Poles were finally stung into action but the Ecuadoreans, and their impressive central defenders, stood firm. Time and again, Giovanny Espinoza and captain Ivan Hurtado, in particular, put their bodies on the line.

It paid off, even if Hurtado got hurt. His loss temporarily rocked Ecuador but they rallied brilliantly to cut through the heart of the brittle Polish defence. Suddenly, substitute Ivan Kaviedes, once of Crystal Palace's bench, was released. He looked offside but played the ball forward to Delgado, who rolled the ball into the net.

Ireneusz Jelen and Pawel Brozek struck the woodwork but, once again, the Poles had been pulled apart. Ecuador are flying high.

Poland (4-2-3-1): Boruc (Celtic); Baszczynski (Wisla Krakow), Jop (FK Moscow), Bak (Al Rayyan), Zewlakow (Anderlecht); Radomski (Austria Vienna), Sobolweski (Wisla Krakow); Smolarek (Borussia Dortmund), Szymkowiak (Trabzonspor), Krzynowek (Bayer Leverkusen); Zurawski (Celtic). Substitutes used: Jelen (Plock) for Sobolweski, 67; Kosowski (Southampton) for Krzynowek, 77; Brozek (Krakow) for Zurawski, 84.

Ecuador (4-4-2): Mora (LDU Quito); De La Cruz (Aston Villa), Hurtado (Al Arabi), Espinoza, Reasco (both LDU Quito); Valencia (Recreativo Huelva), Castillo (El Nacional), E Tenario (Barcelona), Mendez (LDU Quito); Delgado (LDU Quito), C Tenorio (Al Sadd). Substitutes used: Kaviedes (Argentinos Juniors) for C Tenorio, 65; Guagua (El Nacional) for Hurtado, 69; Urrutia (LDU Quito) for Delgado, 83.

Referee: T Kamikawa (Japan).

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
Buddy DeFranco
people
Arts and Entertainment
British actor Idris Elba is also a DJ and rapper who played Ibiza last summer
filmIdris Elba responds to James Bond rumours on Twitter
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Headey as Cersei Lannister in Game of Thrones
film
News
i100
Sport
Yaya Sanogo, Mats Hummels, Troy Deeney and Adnan Januzaj
footballMost Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Career Services

Day In a Page

War with Isis: The West needs more than a White Knight

The West needs more than a White Knight

Despite billions spent on weapons, the US has not been able to counter Isis's gruesome tactics, says Patrick Cockburn
Return to Helmand: Private Davey Graham recalls the day he was shot by the Taliban

'The day I was shot by the Taliban'

Private Davey Graham was shot five times during an ambush in 2007 - it was the first, controversial photograph to show the dangers our soldiers faced in Helmand province
Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Revealed: the best and worst airlines for delays

Many flyers are failing to claim compensation to which they are entitled, a new survey has found
The stories that defined 2014: From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions

The stories that defined 2014

From the Scottish independence referendum to the Ice Bucket Challenge, our writers voice their opinions
Stoke-on-Trent becomes first British city to be classified as 'disaster resilient' by the United Nations

Disaster looming? Now you know where to head...

Which British city has become the first to be awarded special 'resilience' status by the UN?
Finally, a diet that works: Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced

Finally, a diet that works

Californian pastor's wildly popular Daniel Plan has seen his congregation greatly reduced
Say it with... lyrics: The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches

Say it with... lyrics

The power of song was never greater, according to our internet searches
Professor Danielle George: On a mission to bring back the art of 'thinkering'

The joys of 'thinkering'

Professor Danielle George on why we have to nurture tomorrow's scientists today
Monique Roffey: The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections

Monique Roffey interview

The author on father figures, the nation's narcissism and New Year reflections
Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Introducing my anti-heroes of 2014

Their outrageousness and originality makes the world a bit more interesting, says Ellen E Jones
DJ Taylor: Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

Good taste? It's all a matter of timing...

It has been hard to form generally accepted cultural standards since the middle of the 19th century – and the disintegration is only going to accelerate, says DJ Taylor
Olivia Jacobs & Ben Caplan: 'Ben thought the play was called 'Christian Love'. It was 'Christie in Love' - about a necrophiliac serial killer'

How we met

Olivia Jacobs and Ben Caplan
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's breakfasts will revitalise you in time for the New Year

Bill Granger's healthy breakfasts

Our chef's healthy recipes are perfect if you've overindulged during the festive season
Transfer guide: From Arsenal to West Ham - what does your club need in the January transfer window?

Who does your club need in the transfer window?

Most Premier League sides are after a striker, but here's a full run down of the ins and outs that could happen over the next month
The Last Word: From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015

Michael Calvin's Last Word

From aliens at FA to yak’s milk in the Tour, here’s to 2015