Ecuador could not beat Saudi Arabia (0-0) in a match played in Murcia (Spain), where both teams qualified for the Qatar 2022 World Cup played their first friendly of the September FIFA date.
The lack of forcefulness of the Tricolor continues to be worrying when there are 58 days left before the debut in the tournament, in a duel against the host, on Sunday, November 20.
Striker Enner Valencia, who completed the ninety minutes this Friday, was in charge of creating the greatest number of dangerous plays. He fought but did not get the goal.
Michael Estrada, the top scorer for the national team in the South American tie, entered the variant in the second half.
The first action of the match was a cross from left-back Pervis Estupiñán that penetrated the ‘green falcons’ area and central defender Piero Hincapié headed it towards the crossbar (minute 8).
The clearest situation in the first part was at the feet of Valencia. The Fenerbahçe attacker -with 8 goals this season in Turkey- finished off with a volley after taking a corner by José Cifuentes, who had come on in the 25th minute to replace the injured Alan Franco, and goalkeeper Muhammad Al-Owais he blocked the tricolor attempt.
A single variation was made in the first half by the coach Gustavo Alfaro.
After the break, José Cifuentes (minute 60) took a shot from the front that the goalkeeper cleared and after the rebound the MLS LAFC midfielder tried with a left footed shot but without force.
Al-Owais left his skin on the field before the siege of the Ecuadorians.
Ángel Mena, on the pitch from the 73rd minute, came on hot and worked on two situations that caused danger in the area for the Saudi team. But once again Al-Owais avoided the fall of his goal, especially in the 80th minute
In addition to Mena (by Gonzalo Plata), in the second 45 minutes Byron Castillo entered the field, by Ángelo Preciado; Nilson Angulo, by Romario Caicedo, and Michael Estrada by Carlos Gruezo.
Ecuador will play next Tuesday, September 27, against Japan its last friendly in the German city of Dusseldorf.
In the World Cup, which will be played in November and December, Ecuador is in Group A along with host Qatar, Senegal and the Netherlands. For its part, Saudi Arabia appears in C with Argentina, Mexico and Poland.
Ecuador: Alexander Domínguez – Pervis Estupiñán, Piero Hincapié, Jackson Porozo, Ángelo Preciado (Byron Castillo, 66) – Moisés Caicedo, Carlos Gruezo (Michael Estrada, 68), Alan Franco (José Cifuentes, 25) – Romario Ibarra (Nilson Angulo, 66) , Gonzalo Plata (Angel Mena, 74) – Enner Valencia. DT: Gustavo Alfaro.
Saudi Arabia: Muhammad Al-Owais – Saud Abdulhamid, Abdulelah Al-Amri, Ali Hadi Al Bulayhi, Yasir Al-Shahrani (Sultan Al Ghannam, 45) – Sami Alnajei (Haroune Camara, 68), Riyadh Sharahili (Abdullah Madu, 89), Nasser Al -Dossary (Ali Al Hassan, 66)- Hattan Bahbri (Nawaf Al Abid, 74), Firas Albrekan (Mohammed Kanno, 66) and Salem Aldossary. DT: Herve Renard.