It was over as quickly as it started.
The Ecuadorian National soccer team defeated the Chileans 3-0 in front 31,901 people at Citi Field. It was the second time Ecuador has come to Mets ballpark to play in an international friendly. Last year they took on Greece on June 7th. That game ended in a tie.
Tonight was a stark contrast to last years, as Ecuador dominated the play and was able to jump to an early lead in the first half.
Narisco Mina scored in the 10th minute off a cross from Jamie Ayovi to give Ecuador a 1-0 lead. It was four minutes later that Ayovi was able to score a goal of his own with Antonio Valencia getting the assist.
Valencia had several chances of his own throughout the game, but was not able to convert on any of them.
Chile was able to adjust and create some opportunities as the game progressed. Chile looked to have scored their first goal in the second half, but the shot rang off the post and then Ecuadorian keeper Alexander Dominguez saved the rebound.
Jefferson Montero sealed the win scoring the team’s third goal in the 67th minute off a field length pass from Dominguez.
After the game one reporter said it was the best game he has seen Ecuador play.
“It was great opponent that we faced,” Ecuador’s head coach Reinaldo Rueda said, through a translator, after the game. “Which motivated us a lot. It was a great game with a good result and a lot of intelligence.”
Coach Rueda added that his team felt and confident and he hopes they can continue that for three points in the World Cup qualifiers.
“They played well,” he said. “They scored nice goals and they’re very fast. They have such speed, that it’s difficult to stop. But those are virtues that they have and they leveraged them. We have to be able to counter attack those and it’s great merit by Ecuador.”
Coming into tonight’s match-up an big question was how well the players would perform on the field. Chile had not played on the Citi Field playing surface before, a practice at the stadium on Tuesday was cancelled, so they only first felt out the surface prior to the start of the game. Ecuador had played here before, but the rain that fell throughout the day added a challenge for both sides.
“The field was marvelous,” Borghi said. “It was a luxury in all senses of the word. Despite the rain, and although there was new areas with grass, and there were some irregularities. But what they did from one day to another and with the rain it was great. The size of the field was a little smaller but it was great.”
Rueda praised his team’s ability to quickly assimilate to the field.
“I think they performed very well despite the challenges,” he said. “The rain made the field very fast. An area of the field was a little difficult, but they played with great professionalism.”
While Chile’s performance raised some concerns after the game, at least in the eyes of the press, Borghi tried to stay positive and reflect on the chance he and his team had to come to the United States and play against Ecuador.
He called the trip a great experience. “Our trip here was extraordinary and I was very surprised with the number of Ecuadorians here,” Borghi said.
- Ecuador and Chile National Teams Prepping for Friendly at Citi Field (1495sports.com)
- 1495 Sports Photo Gallery: Chile/Ecuador Coaches press conference (1495sports.com)
- Ecuador announces roster for international match against Chile (1495sports.com)
- 1495 Sports TV: Chile and Ecuador national soccer team head coaches meet Mr. Met (1495sports.com)
- 1495 Sports quotes from Ecuador National Team Head Coach Reinaldo Rueda (1495sports.com)