Ecuador beat Cape Verde 1-0 in soccer friendly: match recap

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Fans of the Ecuadorian team show their support for the team during an international friendly soccer match against Cape Verde on Saturday June 11, 2022 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Andrew Uloza / for THE MIAMI HERALD

FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

The DRV PNK stadium was awash in yellow on Saturday night as the Ecuadorian national team en route to the World Cup played a friendly match against Cape Verde, an African island nation appearing on American soil for the first time.

Ecuador took a 1-0 lead in 38e minute on a Jordy Caicedo penalty and held on for the win. It was Ecuador’s third match of the US tour. They beat Nigeria 1-0 and tied Mexico 0-0.

“It was a positive tour for us not because of the results, but because we were able to come together for the first time since the end of World Cup qualifying and start preparing for the World Cup,” he said. said Ecuadorian coach Gustavo Alfaro. “I was using this tour to assess the team, to decide what we have and what we still need to improve. We had physical opponents in Nigeria and Cape Verde and we went 50-50 with Mexico. We also had the chance to rotate players and give players a lot of minutes.

Even before Saturday’s match started, Ecuador’s coaches, players and fans were in a celebratory mood. On Friday, FIFA’s Disciplinary Committee dismissed Chile’s complaint against the Ecuadorian federation which claimed that Byron Castillo was born in Colombia, not Ecuador, and had falsified his documents, which would make him ineligible for the COMENBOL qualifiers for the 2022 World Cup in Qatar.

Had the deal held up, Ecuador would have been forced to forfeit the eight games in which Castillo participated. This would have taken Ecuador out of the World Cup and Chile would have progressed and gained a place.

The Chilean team’s lawyers have alleged that Castillo was born in Tumaco, Colombia in 1995. But the player’s records show he was born in 1998 in General Villamil, Ecuador, and FIFA ruled in favor of Ecuador. Castillo was in the starting XI for Saturday’s game.

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Ecuador defender Byron Castillo plays against Cape Verde in the international friendly soccer match Saturday, June 11, 2022 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Andrew Uloza / for THE MIAMI HERALD ANDREW ULOZA FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Ecuadorian striker Leo Campana, Inter Miami’s top scorer with seven MLS goals and eight including the US Open Cup, came off the bench in 61st minute to the delight of the supporters who have been demanding it since the start of the second half.

Campana, feeling at home at the DRV PNK stadium, replaced Caicedo. He glanced at goal a few minutes later but his shot went over the crossbar.

Campana has been called up for the national team after 10 months away. He had struggled to break into Wolves’ roster from the English Premier League side, came to Inter Miami on loan and was one of Major League Soccer’s top scorers this season.

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Inter Miami forward Leonardo Campana plays for Ecuador against Cape Verde in the international friendly soccer match on Saturday, June 11, 2022 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Andrew Uloza / for THE MIAMI HERALD ANDREW ULOZA FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

The crowd of 4,950 was almost entirely made up of Ecuadorian supporters, who sang and waved yellow, blue and red flags. After the final whistle, Alfaro and his players crossed the pitch and thanked their supporters.

“It was a great thing to see so many proud Ecuadorians in New Jersey, Chicago and Miami,” Alfaro said. “They came to see us at hotels and told us how far they had traveled to see us. I told my players to realize how important this team is to all these people, how much it means to them to sing the anthem and watch us play. We have a major obligation not to disappoint them.

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Fans of the Ecuadorian team show their support for the team during an international friendly soccer match against Cape Verde on Saturday June 11, 2022 at DRV PNK Stadium in Fort Lauderdale. Andrew Uloza / for THE MIAMI HERALD ANDREW ULOZA FOR THE MIAMI HERALD

Among the few Cape Verde fans in the audience was Luis Barbosa, a 33-year-old who flew in from Boston for the game and sat in the front row. He was born in Cape Verde and moved to the United States 10 years ago.

“I’m so happy and proud to be here watching the Cape Verde national team because I’ve never been able to see them in person,” Barbosa said. “When I heard they were playing in Fort Lauderdale, I bought my plane ticket. It’s a great time for them to play in the United States.

Ecuador outshot Cape Verde 13-2 and outscored possession 61%-39%. Although the humidity and the size and physicality of Cape Verde presented unforeseen challenges for Ecuador, Alfaro said he told his players they had to adapt and win uncomfortable games.

Cape Verde coach Pedro Brito said he was proud of his team for giving the fourth-placed South American team a tough game. “In my mind, Ecuador are one of the best teams in South America, so more important for us than the result was to evaluate five or six players who were playing with us for the first time. We learned a lot .

Ecuador will host Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands at the World Cup. Their opener against Qatar will take place on November 21.

This story was originally published June 11, 2022 11:19 p.m.

Miami Herald sportswriter Michelle Kaufman has covered 14 Olympics, six World Cups, Wimbledon, the US Open, NCAA basketball tournaments, NBA playoffs, Super Bowls and been the football writer and the University of Miami basketball beats writer for 25 years. She was born in Frederick, Maryland and raised in Miami.

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