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‘Why Friendly Game Against Nigeria Was Significant To Us’ —Ecuador Captain, Valencia

‘Why Friendly Game Against Nigeria Was Significant To Us’  —Ecuador Captain, Valencia

Ecuador skipper Enner Valencia has explained why the friendly game against the Super Eagles of Nigeria was significant to them.

A third minute goal from Pervis Estupinan secured a 1-0 win for 2022 World Cup-bound Ecuador.

It was the Eagles’ second defeat in five days after also losing 2-1 to Mexico.

Ecuador are drawn in Group A at this year’s World Cup alongside hosts Qatar, Senegal and Netherlands.

Also Read: Exclusive: Mexico, Ecuador Friendlies Good For Eagles’ AFCON Qualifier Vs Sierra Leone –Tijani

And reflecting on the win Valencia, a former West Ham United striker wrote on Twitter:”It was not only a preparatory match for our dream (Qatar), it was to give a little joy to our people who make a homeland outside of our homeland.

“We all dream of our beloved Ecuador united, where our children can grow up in an environment of peace and national unity.”

History of Ecuadorian football

Discarding an invitation to participate in the inaugural FIFA World Cup held in Uruguay, Ecuador did not make their tournament debut until 2002 in Korea/Japan.

After finishing above Brazil and Uruguay in the standings, the qualifying campaign marked the emergence of several players, such as Agustín Delgado, Álex Aguinaga, Iván Hurtado, Ulises de la Cruz and Iván Kaviedes, who would set the stage for Ecuador’s achievements in the next decade.

Having reached the Round of 16 in a memorable 2006 World Cup campaign, they were expected to deliver at the 2007 Copa América but were eliminated in the group stage.

Along with Venezuela, they have not won the continental tournament. La Tri’s best performance was fourth in 1959 and 1993, both times on home soil.

Ecuador plays the majority of their home matches at the Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa in Quito. It was set to be demolished in late 2020 to make way for a new, more modern venue.

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