Following last week’s 2-0 loss to world number-one Brazil, Ecuador’s national football team must win today against Peru in Quito to remain in contention for a berth in the 2018 World Cup championship. Even with a victory and two more in the final round of competition, Ecuador must depend on the outcome of other games. Ecuador faces Peru at 4 in Olympic Atahualpa stadium.
Home field advantage has meant little to Ecuador in recent qualifier matches. The last time it won in Quito was in November, against Venezuela. It has dropped two matches there since then.
“If we don’t win this match, we are out of the fight,” says Ecuador coach Gustavo Quinteros, who concedes that his team has performed poorly in recent games. “We began the qualifiers with great expectations and if we have any hope to move on, we must regain some of our original style.”
After the first four qualifying games, an undefeated Ecuador led all South American teams in World Cup play. Team performance has gone downhill since then.
If Ecuador needs any extra encouragement for today’s game, it can look to history: Peru has never won in Quito.