Ecuador are the unluckiest team in the cup by a long chalk. The Andean side sit bottom of Group B with no points from two games and are all but out of the running for even a spot as one of the best third-placed teams.
And this in spite of playing some of the most attractive football of the tournament so far. Luis Suarez’s men played well against Chile and went down 3-2 after losing concentration and two late goals. Against Mexico last night they were thwarted by keeper Oswaldo Sanchez and lost 2-1.
Ecuador are one of only three South American teams never to win the Copa America in its 91-year history (Chile and Venezuela being the other two). The odds against them breaking that unwanted run were hardly short this time around.
But they surprised with a brand of football that with its accent on short passing and explosive running was at times reminiscent of the great Colombia team of the early 1990s.
And their positive approach was a complete contrast to the shameful way they laid down against England in the World Cup last year.
It’s a pity Ecuador are not being awarded for that approach with a place in the last eight.