(CNN Spanish) — Ecuador qualified for the 2022 Qatar World Cup with a direct place in the difficult South American qualifying round, behind Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay. His style of play, with a good mark and physical explosion guided by coach Gustavo Alfaro, was seen in the debut of the World Cup against the host Qatar, a game that ended 2-0 in their favor but could have been more bulky.
Ecuador is in Group A and, in addition to Qatar, will face the Netherlands and Senegal in the first phase.
The stars of Ecuador in the World Cup
Forward. 1.77 meters tall. 33 years. He was the hero in the opening match, scoring both goals in the win against Qatar. He currently plays for Fenerbahce, one of the most important teams in Turkey. He has integrated teams such as Tigres and Pahuca in Mexico, West Ham and Everton in the Premier League, and Emelec in his native country.
Left side. 1.75 meters. 24 years. Despite his young age, he is one of the most experienced players in the tricolor team. He began his career in the Liga Deportiva Universitaria de Quito and in 2016 moved to Europe, initially with Udinese of Italy, and later with teams in Spain (Almería, Mallorca, Osasuna, Villareal) and England (Watford, Brighton & Hove Albion, where currently playing).
The Argentine Gustavo Alfaro has a great career as a coach in his country, and before leading Ecuador he had been the coach of Boca Juniors. His greatest achievements, however, were achieved with Arsenal after winning several local tournaments and the only international trophy in his record: the Copa Sudamericana in 2007. He has been the coach of Ecuador since 2020, it is the first national team he has led and, of course, Qatar 2022 is his first World Cup.
Players called up for the World Cup in Qatar
Ecuador took the field with a 4-4-2 in their first World Cup match. Will the coach make adjustments in the following games?
Goalkeeper: Hernan Galindez
Defenses: Ángelo Preciado, Félix Torres, Piero Hincapié, and Pervis Estupiñán.
Frills: Gonzalo Plata, Jhegson Mendez, Moisés Caicedo, Romario Ibarra
Forwards: Enner Valencia, Michael Estrada
Why didn’t Byron Castillo go to Qatar?
The National Football Association of Chile filed an appeal to sanction the Ecuadorian team for the alleged improper alignment of the player Byron Castillo in several qualifying matches, an accusation that the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) has always denied.
On this matter, FIFA dismissed Chile’s request in June, but the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) settled the legal dispute in November by imposing a 3-point deduction at the start of the next South American qualifier for the 2026 World Cup, in addition to a fine of more than US$100,000, and allowed Ecuador to play the tournament in Qatar.
Castillo was not among those called up to play in the World Cup, despite the fact that “the ruling recognized the player’s eligibility,” according to the FEF, and the support that coach Alfaro has shown the player since the tie.
Netherlands – Ecuador
11:00 am (Miami and Quito time)
10:00 a.m. (CDMX time)
1:00 p.m. (Buenos Aires time)
Ecuador – Senegal
10:00 am (Miami and Quito time)
9:00 a.m. (CDMX time)
12:00 pm (Buenos Aires time)