The Ecuador and Bolivian national teams will go out this Thursday to the Guayaquil stadium Barcelona without an option for a draw, because if it happens, it will leave the Altiplano without the possibility of going to Qatar 2022 and would remove the local team, which shares the fourth place with Colombia, with 13 points each.
The Bolivian coach, the Venezuelan César Farías and the Ecuadorian, the Argentine Gustavo Alfaro, know how crucial and decisive the match is, after the poor results they have achieved so far.
La Verde reached 6 points and La Tri had a brilliant start in 2020, but in the current season they lost five local points, after the loss by 1-2 against Peru, which is seventh with 8 points, and tied by 0- 0 against Chile, which is also far from the qualifying zone, with 7 units.
The local midfielder, Jehgson Méndez said that “Ecuador can no longer lose local points” if it intends to go to the World Cup in Qatar, so against Bolivia we will have to go out to win or win, and also go with the same mentality to the next game against Venezuela, the latter with 4 points.
For his part, the top scorer in the current tie, with 8 goals, Marcelo Moreno Martins assured that, “Bolivia will stake everything, it is a moment to think about winning all the points.”
The away performances that gave positive results to Bolivia in the current tie were the 2-2 draw in Asunción, against Paraguay, and the 1-1 away from Chile. The strength of the Bolivian team to get these results, started with its goalkeeper Carlos Lampe, one of the goalkeepers who rejected the most shots on goal during the qualifying rounds, and its historic scorer, with 27 goals, Moreno Martins, for how well he moves on the opposite zone.
Playing again at the Barcelona stadium will bring to Bolivia the fond memory of having secured their qualification for the 1994 World Cup in the United States, by drawing 1-1 against Ecuador. Although the last time they met again in that stadium, Ecuador won 1-0 in the 1998 World Cup qualifiers in France.
So Ecuador will also come out with that inspiring memory and a squad that arrives at the best time, since most of tomorrow’s headlines come from having great activity with their clubs, including one of the team’s historic scorers, attacker Enner. Valencia, who, despite not having scored since 2019, has the full confidence of Alfaro to line him up from the beginning of the match.
Going back to playing above sea level, from Guayaquil, leaves coach Alfaro calmer, since he considers that the 2,850 meters of altitude of Quito, favored Bolivia more than his team, since practically all the squad he summoned plays in cities at sea level.
Both Ecuador and Bolivia will suffer casualties for the crucial match, of the midfielder Júnior Sornoza, in the case of Ecuador, and the defender Diego Bejarano and the winger Erwin Saavedra in the visitor.
For tomorrow’s game due to the covid-19 pandemic, the National Emergency Operations Committee (COE) authorized the Ecuadorian Football Federation (FEF) to enter only 40 percent of the capacity of the stadium that it is for 57,000 fans.
ECUADOR: Alexander Domínguez; Byron Castillo, Félix Torres, Piero Hincapié, Pervis Estupiñán; Carlos Gruezo, Moisés Caicedo, Ángel Mena, Gonzalo Plata; Michael Estrada and Enner Valencia. Coach: Gustavo Alfaro.
BOLIVIA: Carlos Lampe; José Sagredo, Jairo Quinteros, Jesús Sagredo, Luis Haquin; Ramiro Vaca, Leonel Justiniano, Alexis Ribera, Roberto Carlos Fernández; Henry Vaca and Marcelo Moreno Martins. Coach: César Farías.
REFEREE: Wilmar Roldán, from Colombia, assisted by his compatriots Jhon León and Sebastián Vela.
VAR: Germán Delfino, from Argentina.
STADIUM: Monumental “Isidro Romero Carbo”, owned by Barcelona.
HOUR: 19:30 local time.