Although it has been a dominate force in Latin American football for most of the last century, Brazil has never had much luck playing in Quito. The last time they beat Ecuador there, in fact, was 33 years ago.
“We hope to change history on Thursday,” said new Brazilian coach Rafael Tite. “We have had difficulty playing at high altitudes in the past but came to Quito early this time to give the team time to adjust.”
Brazil desperately needs a win to qualify for the 2018 World Cup, to be played in Russia. The team is in sixth place among South American teams and needs to be among the top four to qualify.
Ecuador has been the surprise of the qualifiers, sitting in a tie for first place after four straight wins to kick off the qualifiers. The team has fallen off a bit since then, drawing with Paraguay at home before being dominated by Colombia in the most recent qualifiers in March.
Today’s game kicks off at 4 p.m. in Quito.