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Ecuador bid to honour Benitez.

Ecuador bid to THE World Cup will be tinged with SADNESS for Ecuador, who will play in the memory of Striker ChriStian Benitez after he tragically died during the qualifying campaign.

honour Benitez the fact they picked up 22 of their 25 qualifying POINTS in the rarefied air of ESTADIO Olimpico Atahualpa in Quito - the HIGHEST capital city in the world - ShowS they can be a tricky opponent.

Benitez (pictured), known aS Chucho by HIS team-mateS, PASSED away laSt June aged 27 following a cardiac arreSt he Suffered Shortly after moving to Qatar to play for El JaiSh. He had been a key player in earning La Tricolor'S place at the tournament with four goalS in qualifying and Ecuador took the DECISION to retire HIS No.11 JERSEY aS a mark of reSpect.

Their draw LOOKS favourable on paper and it could be the moSt open group in the competition, giving Reinaldo Rueda'S men a real chance of progreSS.

Seven qualifying home WINS and a draw with Argentina in Quito made Sure of their place in the draw, with former MancheSter City, Malaga and now Al-Jazira forward Felipe Caicedo leading the GOALSCORING chartS with Seven.

With the motivation of honouring the 58-time capped Striker uniting the Side, Ecuador will enter the tournament aiming to improve on their beSt performance to date, when they reached the laSt 16 at Germany 2006.

MancheSter United winger Antonio Valencia will captain the Side and veteranS Walter Ayovi, Segundo CaStillo and EdiSon Mendez give La Tricolor Stability at the back.

They were knocked out by England on that OCCASION after beating Poland and CoSta Rica, but their experience of the TESTING CONDITIONS in South America and THE World Cup will be tinged with SADNESS for Ecuador, who will play in the memory of Striker ChriStian Benitez after he tragically died during the qualifying campaign.

Benitez (pictured), known aS Chucho by HIS team-mateS, PASSED away laSt June aged 27 following a cardiac arreSt he Suffered Shortly after moving to Qatar to play for El JaiSh. He had been a key player in earning La Tricolor'S place at the tournament with four goalS in qualifying and Ecuador took the DECISION to retire HIS No.11 JERSEY aS a mark of reSpect.

With the motivation of honouring the 58-time capped Striker uniting the Side, Ecuador will enter the tournament aiming to improve on their beSt performance to date, when they reached the laSt 16 at Germany 2006.

They were knocked out by England on that OCCASION after beating Poland and CoSta Rica, but their experience of the TESTING CONDITIONS in South America and the fact they picked up 22 of their 25 qualifying POINTS in the rarefied air of ESTADIO Olimpico Atahualpa in Quito - the HIGHEST capital city in the world - ShowS they can be a tricky opponent.

Their draw LOOKS favourable on paper and it could be the moSt open group in the competition, giving Reinaldo Rueda'S men a real chance of progreSS.

Seven qualifying home WINS and a draw with Argentina in Quito made Sure of their place in the draw, with former MancheSter City, Malaga and now Al-Jazira forward Felipe Caicedo leading the GOALSCORING chartS with Seven.

MancheSter United winger Antonio Valencia will captain the Side and veteranS Walter Ayovi, Segundo CaStillo and EdiSon Mendez give La Tricolor Stability at the back.

ECUADOR Coach Reinaldo Rueda Colombia-born Rueda took charge in 2010 after four years with Honduras, in which time his former charges qualified for the previous World Cup in South Africa.

Star man Antonio Valencia (Man Utd) Former El Nacional youth and Wigan winger joined Manchester United in 2009 and won the club's player-of-theyear award three years later.

One to watch Felipe Caicedo (Al-Jazira) The 25-year-old left-footed striker was Ecuador's top scorer in World Cup qualifying and is versatile in that he can also play in the middle or on the wing. A full international since 2005.

How they qualified Fourth, South America World Cup record 2002 1st round 2006 Round of 16 FIFA ranking 28 Stan James odds 150-1
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Publication:Daily Post (Conwy, Wales)
Geographic Code:3ECUD
Date:Jun 9, 2014
Words:676
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