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?
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

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

As in 1942, Germany must show restraint over Greece

Mussolini tried to warn his ally of the danger of bringing the country to its knees. So should we, says Patrick Cockburn
Britain's widening poverty gap should be causing outrage at the start of the election campaign

The short stroll that should be our walk of shame

Courting the global elite has failed to benefit Britain, as the vast disparity in wealth on display in the capital shows
Homeless Veterans appeal: The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty

Homeless Veterans appeal

The rise of the working poor: when having a job cannot prevent poverty
Prince Charles the saviour of the nation? A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king

Prince Charles the saviour of the nation?

A new book highlights concerns about how political he will be when he eventually becomes king
How books can defeat Isis: Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad

How books can defeat Isis

Patrick Cockburn was able to update his agenda-setting 'The Rise of Islamic State' while under attack in Baghdad
Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

Judith Hackitt: The myths of elf 'n' safety

She may be in charge of minimising our risks of injury, but the chair of the Health and Safety Executive still wants children to be able to hurt themselves
The open loathing between Barack Obama and Benjamin Netanyahu just got worse

The open loathing between Obama and Netanyahu just got worse

The Israeli PM's relationship with the Obama has always been chilly, but going over the President's head on Iran will do him no favours, says Rupert Cornwell
French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

French chefs get 'le huff' as nation slips down global cuisine rankings

Fury at British best restaurants survey sees French magazine produce a rival list
Star choreographer Matthew Bourne gives young carers a chance to perform at Sadler's Wells

Young carers to make dance debut

What happened when superstar choreographer Matthew Bourne encouraged 27 teenage carers to think about themselves for once?
Design Council's 70th anniversary: Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch

Design Council's 70th anniversary

Four of the most intriguing prototypes from Ones to Watch
Dame Harriet Walter: The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment

Dame Harriet Walter interview

The actress on learning what it is to age, plastic surgery, and her unease at being honoured by the establishment
Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Art should not be a slave to the ideas driving it

Critics of Tom Stoppard's new play seem to agree that cerebral can never trump character, says DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef's winter salads will make you feel energised through February

Bill Granger's winter salads

Salads aren't just a bit on the side, says our chef - their crunch, colour and natural goodness are perfect for a midwinter pick-me-up
England vs Wales: Cool head George Ford ready to put out dragon fire

George Ford: Cool head ready to put out dragon fire

No 10’s calmness under pressure will be key for England in Cardiff
Michael Calvin: Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Time for Old Firm to put aside bigotry and forge new links