10.06.2006 International

South American Surprise Puts Ecuador Even With Germany

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South American Surprise Puts Ecuador Even With Germany
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The 2006 World Cup didn't take long to deliver it's first surprise result. Ecuador shutout a favored Poland side in Gelsenkirchen Friday night and took a big step toward moving into the next round.

Stuck in a group with the host nation, both Poland and Ecuador knew a win in their opening game would be crucial to their World Cup campaign and were aiming for three points before suffering though a match against home favorite Germany.

Carlos Tenorio broke the deadlock in the 24th minute with a stooping header and Agustin Delgado made the points safe for the South Americans with a simple tap-in 10 minutes from time.

A long throw-in from the right touchline was flicked on by the gangly Delgado and Tenerio's angled header just eluded Poland keeper Artur Boruc's outstretched hand for his sixth goal in 30 international appearances.

Ecuador killed off the contest in the 80th minute when substitute Ivan Kaviedes broke the offside trap

Familiar territory for Poland

Poland, who have twice finished third at the World Cup, in 1974 and in 1982, enjoyed plenty of possession but were short on ideas in the final third of the pitch, although they did hit the woodwork twice in the closing stages.

It was mainly superb defending by South American four-man defense that kept Poland from equalizing early in the second half and gave Ecuador their second competitive win away from the thin air of Quito, which at 2,850 meters (9,350 feet) above sea level provides a unique soccer atmosphere.

The loss was a repeat performance for Poland who also lost their opener in the last World Cup 2-0 to South Korea and didn't get out of the group phase.

Ecuador, who finished behind Brazil in Argentina in their qualifying group to reach their second World Cup finals, next face Costa Rica while Poland take on hosts Germany.

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