Ecuador 3 Costa Rica 0
Ecuador is quickly becoming the most colorful team of the World Cup and it has nothing to do with their vibrant yellow, red, and blue uniforms. After a thorough 3-0 beatdown of Costa Rica today - courtesy of three goals each prettier than the last - they've already clinched a spot in the knockouts and are assured of winning the group if they can tie Germany. Not too shabby for a team that supposedly couldn't win away from the ridiculous altitude of Quito.
To say that Ecuador is a team clicking at the moment would be a disservice. While Augustin Delgado and Edwin Tenorio, who both scored today, are proving to be one of the best attacking combos in Germany, the Ecuadoran defense was equally impressive. Costa Rica had hardly even a sniff of goal all afternoon and, yet again, the painted flags on goalkeeper Cristian Mora's face were spared the threat of running due to sweat.
Arguably the funniest moment of the World Cup thus far - nay, the funniest moment; who am I kidding? - occured after Ivan Kaviedes scored Ecuador's third goal, at which point he reached into his shorts, pulled out a mask, and put it on. Hysterical. I think Paul Tagliabue is looking into the incident and determining a hefty fine as we speak. Of course, if someone like Terrell Owens tried such a stunt, I'd probably be all over him for being an egotistical tool and blatant showboat, but I've never said I wasn't a hypocrite at times. Who isn't? Besides, Owens is an egotistical tool and blatant showboat and he doesn't need to pull a mask out of his drawers to prove it. The funniest part is that Kaviedes is sure to be featured on SportCenter tonight, the goal of many an American athlete, and he probably doesn't even know what SportsCenter is. Da-da-da, dadada.
Incidentally, you have to give Kaviedes some credit for not only his elements of suprise and creativity, but it takes a special kind of bravado to pull a mask out of your sweaty drawers and place it directly on your face. I don't even want to know what was going on in his shorts after 80-plus minutes of constant running in the scorching summer heat of Hamburg. It sure didn't strike me as being very hygienic. I don't think I'd be so bold unless the mask came straight from the sweaty drawers of Scarlett Johanssen, in which case, I'd be so into it.
Amazingly, Ecuador has put Germany in the weird position of having taken care of business in its first two games and still needing to beat Ecuador in the group finale. As it stands now, the two teams are tied on points but Ecuador has a better goal differential, meaning a draw would win the group for the South Americans. Germany, which would obviously like no part of a prospective meeting with England in the second round, needs to win to avoid such a fate, provided, of course, England does win its group, which is likely.
That said, should Ecuador meet England in the second round, I wouldn't necessarily pencil in the Brits for the quarterfinals. Ecuador is playing magnificently at the moment, and more importantly, their confidence is brimming. They're exactly the type of underdog the big boys never want to face.