To get an idea of how Ecuador’s performance was seen in its farewell to the 2022 World Cup, after losing 2-1 to Senegal, on the last date of Group A, it is valid to review what the international press thought. With the perspective that distance gives, of all kinds, regarding the National Team, various newspapers around the world reproach the “ineffectiveness” of the team led by Gustavo Alfaro.
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“Ecuador committed an original sin: he went out onto the field to speculate with the scoreboard and the stopwatch,” he published. The country, from Spain. For La Gazzetta dello Sport, from Italy, the Tricolor “was very far from the team that defeated Qatar and then scared the Netherlands.” These are points of view radically opposed to those referred to in the enthusiastic praise that the National Team received after the masterful display of football it gave against the Netherlands, the most important and long-standing member of the key.
What compliments were there after the 1-1 victory against Louis van Gaal’s pupils? “Ecuador, what a great match!”, published The viewer, from Colombia. For olé, from Argentina, “Ecuador played a great game and could even have won it.” According to the French newspaper L’Equipe“Holland was shaken by Ecuador”.
Nothing to reproach them for, but they become
So gray was the performance of the national team against Senegal, in the match in which they had to try to seal their ticket to the round of 16, that Italian journalism emphasizes that “the change in attitude cannot be explained.” Alfaro found, by operation, the ideal eleven of Ecuador in the matched duel with the Dutch. He found the most suitable scheme to exploit the characteristics of his footballers. He even dared to take risks that were unthinkable for someone like him, who is not known for being a friendly coach with a daring, audacious football philosophy.
Alfaro “failed at the right time”, as a sentence Record, from Mexico, because whoever anticipated that in Qatar he had “the challenge of fulfilling (with the Tri) the best role in the history” of the World Cups decided when measuring Senegal to return to being faithful to the stiff ideas that have distinguished him as a technician. Alfaro “has a certain defensive aroma and in this World Cup (and in current football) the trend is for daring teams, with a great offensive vocation,” Jorge Barraza wrote in EL UNIVERSO.
Alfaro diminished Ecuador
“He went out to tie and ended up losing”, is the description he made Duty, of Bolivia, on the cautious style that Alfaro chose to apply on Tuesday against Senegal. The Argentine preferred to die with his and as collateral damage, he reduced Ecuador’s options of passing the round. Alfaro is the person most responsible for the classification of the National Team to the World Cup, but also for the premature farewell to the World Cup by giving advantages when it comes to seeking qualification for the round of 16.
As stated The country there were “original sins” and they were committed by Alfaro. These are the seven that DT incurred in the match against the Africans.
1. To replace Jhegson Méndez, suspended, Alfaro gave Carlos Gruezo the starting job. The midfielder came to the duel with a 17-day inactivity due to an injury suffered in the Bundesliga. Gruezo did not hold back anyone, complicated the actions of Moisés Caicedo, and showed that he was not physically fully. The mistake was exposed when the FC Augsburg player did not return after the break, but was already trailing 1-0.
two. Alfaro lined up Alan Franco in the starting eleven. The Talleres de Córdoba midfielder had an inconsequential performance against Senegal and demonstrated the reasons for having started on the substitute bench against Qatar and the Netherlands. Like Gruezo, he did not return after the restart either, but the Africans were already winning 1-0.
3. The line of three centrals, which gave such good results against the Netherlands, was disrupted by Gustavo Alfaro. It was intuited that due to the remarkable performance of the trio it would be repeated, but the coach made a change of scheme. He left out Jackson Porozo. This loss no longer allowed Ángelo Preciado and Pervis Estupiñán to go on the attack and do the terrible damage that the Dutch endured on the wings. The Senegalese, rather, entered from the sides as many times as they wanted. Porozo entered the game at minute 85.
Four. The postponed José Cifuentes played only the second half and that was enough for him to receive, from international newspapers, the highest rating among all the soccer players who faced Senegal: 6 points. Alfaro gave away 45 minutes with Gruezo, who seemed to still be convalescing from his injury, and with Franco.
5. To improve a “dull and idealess” midfield, according to the newspaper’s description Brand, Alfaro for the third time ordered the entry of Jeremy Sarmiento, who against Senegal did the same as against Qatar and the Netherlands: nothing. And Angel Mena? The player with the football features most similar to those of a number 10, among all the 26 in the delegation, was sentenced to eternal substitution by Alfaro. There is no justification for this postponement.
6. Alfaro brought on Djorkaeff Reasco in the 64th minute for the harmless Michael Estrada, and was almost immediately erased by the Senegal defense. The Newell’s Old Boy striker confirmed that like Kevin Rodriguez (forward for Imbabura, from Serie B, who made the substitution against Qatar and the Netherlands), he is tremendously green to play in a World Cup. Ángel Mena, who is a good enabler and also has a goal, was not even turned around by Alfaro.
7. At the press conference, after the defeat, Alfaro responded with generalities and set phrases when he spoke of Ecuador’s elimination from the World Cup. However, he gave a wordy speech when asked about his continuation in office. The National Team, which is more important than the professional destiny of an employee of the Ecuadorian Football Federation, went into the background. Was it time to be the center of attention and to leave doubts about its renewal? (D)