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Last World Cup: Did not qualify
Nickname: La Tricolor
Coach: Reinaldo Rueda
Star man: Antonio Valencia
Tournament best: Last 16 2006

Although Ecuador lost their final qualifier to Chile, they secured automatic qualification on goal difference alone ahead of Uruguay. Their recent successes have come on the back of the emergence of players like Valencia, Cristian Noboa and Felipe Caicedo.

Strengths: With 45% of their goals coming from headers–the highest percentage among the finalists–and many of these coming from close range, Ecuador's attack will offer a unique challenge.

Weaknesses: Beyond the aerial threat their arsenal is relatively limited however: they only scored more than once in a quarter of their qualifying matches, the lowest proportion among the 32 nations.

Prospects: The draw wasn't particularly helpful for Ecuador: there aren't any sides in Group E who have struggled to defend headers recently, although Honduras allowed a third of the goals scored against them to be taken from close range which will suit their style. France's defence were one of the better sides at allowing no such thing and seeds Switzerland have both a tight defence and a strong left flank going forward which will trouble Ecuador's weaker right side.

 

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