Thursday, June 15, 2006

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.


Blogger Lisa said...

I agree with what you said about Ecuador. Though, my husband being Ecuadorian gives me a bias as we are of course, fanatics til death. 2 things: the mask comes from a fellow national team player (played for Guayaquil's Emelec) who would pull out a spiderman mask every goal scored, but he was tradgically killed about a year ago in a car accident. I presume this is to honor him. Second, Kaviedes was a sub at the 46th minute and did not play the whole game, so this would at least not be as unhygenic as it would had he been starter. But who cares, youre right, thats gross!! But what a great show!!!
Kaviedes needed that goal to prove himself to his coach, team, and country since he was benched for being overweight and lazy. He was the only one who tried to score in those last few minutes, the rest of them were ready to leave the field 2-0. He really pulled through for them. Ecuador is hot, and I would bet they put up a good fight against whoever they face in the second round.

10:26 AM  
Blogger UnknownColumn said...

Lisa, thanks for the info. I was not aware that the mask was in honor of somebody. Good story.

And, yeah, I forgot that Kaviedes came on as a sub, but even just sitting on the bench with that mask in your drawers is kind of gross. But who cares? It was funny.

Good luck to Ecuador the rest of the way. You can call me a new fan.

11:01 AM  
Blogger Bill-DC said...

I've been very impressed with Ecuador so far. Keep it going!

5:52 PM  
Anonymous Jorge said...

The name of the dead player is Otilino Tenorio. He was a great player and everyone loved him.
He used tu put on the spidermand mask to celebrate goals. Everyone in Ecuador loved Kaviedes' tribute to Otilino.

9:40 AM  

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