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?
Arts and Entertainment
Neil Young performs on stage at Hyde Park
musicAnd his Hyde Park set has rhyme and reason, writes Nick Hasted
News
Women have been desperate to possess dimples like Cheryl Cole's
people Cole has secretly married French boyfriend Jean-Bernard Fernandez-Versini after just three months.
Arts and Entertainment
AKB48 perform during one of their daily concerts at Tokyo’s Akihabara theatre
musicJapan's AKB48 are one of the world’s most-successful pop acts
News
Ian Thorpe has thanked his supporters after the athlete said in an interview that he is gay
people
News
The headstone of jazz great Miles Davis at Woodlawn Cemetery in New York
news
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll has brought out his female alter-ego Agnes Brown for Mrs Brown's Boys D'Movie
filmComedy holds its place at top of the UK box office
News
newsBear sweltering in zoo that reaches temperatures of 40 degrees
Arts and Entertainment
Professor Kathy Willis will showcase plants from the Royal Botanic Gardens at Kew
radioPlants: From Roots to Riches has been two years in the making
Extras
indybestThe tastiest creations for children’s parties this summer
Arts and Entertainment
TV The follow-up documentary that has got locals worried
Arts and Entertainment
Paolo Nutini performs at T in the Park
music
Caption competition
Caption competition

Bleacher Report

Daily World Cup Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

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

Career Services

Day In a Page

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream as Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil

Super Mario crushes the Messi dream

Germany win the 2014 World Cup in Brazil
Saharan remains may be evidence of the first race war, 13,000 years ago

The first race war, 13,000 years ago?

Saharan remains may be evidence of oldest large-scale armed conflict
Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Scientists find early warning system for Alzheimer’s

Researchers hope eye tests can spot ‘biomarkers’ of the disease
Sex, controversy and schoolgirl schtick

Meet Japan's AKB48

Pop, sex and schoolgirl schtick make for controversial success
In pictures: Breathtaking results of this weekend's 'supermoon'

Weekend's 'supermoon' in pictures

The moon appeared bigger and brighter at the weekend
Iraq crisis: How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over the north of the country

How Saudi Arabia helped Isis take over northern Iraq

A speech by an ex-MI6 boss hints at a plan going back over a decade. In some areas, being Shia is akin to being a Jew in Nazi Germany, says Patrick Cockburn
The evolution of Andy Serkis: First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes

The evolution of Andy Serkis

First Gollum, then King Kong - now the actor is swinging through the trees in Dawn of the Planet of the Apes
You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial: Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried

You thought 'Benefits Street' was controversial...

Follow-up documentary 'Immigrant Street' has got locals worried
Refugee children from Central America let down by Washington's high ideals

Refugee children let down by Washington's high ideals

Democrats and Republicans refuse to set aside their differences to cope with the influx of desperate Central Americas, says Rupert Cornwell
Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Children's books are too white, says Laureate

Malorie Blackman appeals for a better ethnic mix of authors and characters and the illustrator Quentin Blake comes to the rescue
Blackest is the new black: Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...

Blackest is the new black

Scientists have developed a material so dark that you can't see it...
Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

Matthew Barzun: America's diplomatic dude

The US Ambassador to London holds 'jeans and beer' gigs at his official residence – it's all part of the job, he tells Chris Green
Meet the Quantified Selfers: From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor

Meet the 'Quantified Selfers'

From heart rates to happiness, there is little this fast-growing, self-tracking community won't monitor
Madani Younis: Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Five-star reviews are just the opening act for British theatre's first non-white artistic director

Madani Younis wants the neighbourhood to follow his work as closely as his audiences do
Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

Mrs Brown and her boys: are they having a laugh?

When it comes to national stereotyping, the Irish – among others – know it can pay to play up to outsiders' expectations, says DJ Taylor