Ecuador’s team is off to a flying start and wants to climb to the top of the CONMEBOL qualification table for the 2026 World Cup (hosted by the US, Mexico and Canada) with a win over Colombia following a clearance from CAS following the Byrne Castillo case.
Tricolor will receive the coffee farmers from 6:30pm at the Rodrigo Paz Delgado stadium near Quito, where in the previous World Cup they crushed the visitors with a poor score of 6-1. to a news agency AFP There are three keys for Colombia, and depending on how Ecuador handles them, it will progress towards the 2026 World Cup.
1. A winning attitude
According to AFPSpain’s Felix Sanchez’s team would be third with six points, not seventh in the qualifiers, if not for Ecuador’s TAS-applied penalty for the improper inclusion of Byron Castillo in the last qualifier.
Ecuador likes to cry without spilling milk. The players “continue with energy, the lads want more, that’s the right mentality” to turn around a bitter start to the World Cup, Sanchez said after beating Bolivia. With two draws and a win, the unbeaten northern side finished third in the tie with five points, behind Argentina (9) and Brazil (7).
Ecuador made it two wins in a row with 2-1 wins against Uruguay and Bolivia. They lost 1-0 to Argentina on the opening day, but amidst the defeat, Ecuador’s young jewels began to shine.
Colombia will stumble upon some precious stones that will make Ecuador’s game more attractive and complicate its rival. Moisés Caicedo, at 21, stood out for his mark on Argentine star Lionel Messi. His physical strength and quickness of feet have ensured him a prominent place in the team.
Then Gentry Pace broke a record against Bolivia. At 16 he became the youngest player to score in a Conmebol tie. Sánchez prefers to look to the present and its stars, not forgetting to recognize Ecuador’s previous success against coffee farmers.
“It’s a big win, an important win, but what’s going to happen tomorrow. The past is the past,” Sanchez told reporters this Monday. The coach noted that both teams have strengthened internal changes. Sanchez expected it to be a “difficult match” in Colombia. Recognized that “there are very unbalanced populations”.
3. A great awakening
At the age of 32, James Rodriguez has returned to the Colombian national team in style. After being in the shadows since 2019, the midfielder made his peace on the ball by opening the scoring against Uruguay.
The game against Sarras, which ended in a 2-2 draw at the end of the game, left a bitter taste among the coffee farmers, but dispelled any doubts fans had about Rodríguez’s ability. He is recovering his position,” said Argentina coach Nestor Lorenzo after the clash with Uruguay.
The tactician’s concern now is the absence of Santiago Arias, who was ruled out due to “the blow he suffered in the match against Uruguay” and “prevents him physically,” the Colombian Football Federation said in a statement. .
Colombian goalkeeper Camilo Vargas will not be sent off. Despite this absence, Sanchez highlighted that his rival “is a team with very good players and the proposition is very attractive”. (D)