Ecuador’s Marcelo Eliceaga blocked Colombia’s Tressor Moreno’s penalty
kick in the 83rd minute, preserving a 1-0 victory over Colombia in am
exhibition game on Wednesday night.
Christian Benitez converted the rebound from his own blocked penalty kick in the 40th minute for Ecuador after Luis Amaranto Perea ran over him the far corner of the area. Goalkeeper Agustin Julio dived to his right to block Benitez’s penalty, but the rebound came back to the forward, and he easily scored in the 40th minute.
The game was a rematch of their World Cup qualifier on June 18, a 0-0 tie at Quito.
Both teams play their next qualifiers on Sept. 6 at home, Colombia against Uruguay in Bogota and Ecuador against Bolivia in Quito.
Colombia had the better possession in the first half, but neither team looked dangerous, appearing to have trouble adjusting with their speed and touch on the artificial surface at Giants Stadium.
Ecuador’s goal came against the run of play. Its only other remotely dangerous moment came when Julio came well out of his area to head a ball clear, but it went straight to Luis Bolanos, whose looping attempt from 40 yards bounced wide right.
Colombia’s chance to equalize came after Eliceaga tripped Hugo Rodallega as he raced after a ball down the right side of the area. Eliceaga, a second-half replacement for starter Jose Cevallos, dived left and blocked Moreno, and then tipped Moreno’s attempt at the rebound over the bar.
The two teams, both with nearly their full compliment of players, substituted liberally in the second half, but Ecuador was forced to go its bench in the 18th minute, inserting Jose Luis Cortez when Patricio Urrutia came off with a pulled right hamstring.
The bottom tier at Giants Stadium was nearly completely yellow, with a crowd of 32,439 almost exclusively clad in the traditional colour of both teams. (Canadian Press)