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James Rodriguez should not underestimate Ecuador - Quinteros

Colombia star James Rodriguez has said that Ecuador will be beatable next March in South American qualifying.

Ecuador's coach, Gustavo Quinteros, however, has warned the Real Madrid winger to remain humble after Colombia's 3-0 loss to Argentina in a 2018 World Cup qualifier this week.

The Colombia captain, who started on Tuesday, said that his team's next two qualifiers -- at home to Bolivia on March 23, 2017 and away to Ecuador five days later -- "are winnable."

Quinteros took offence and told Ecuador Radio station Area Deportiva: "James Rodriguez must learn to respect others. His words could turn against him in March.

"We shall see, we will face them in March and we will see if the game will be like he really thinks it will be. Colombia have been behind us in the standings for some time.

"As for us, we respect all of our rivals and we don't underestimate anyone.

"We played against Venezuela [on Tuesday] just as if we were facing Brazil."

Ecuador bounced back from their 2-1 defeat at Uruguay with a 3-0 win over Venezuela in Quito on Tuesday.

After the win, Ecuador striker Enner Valencia tweeted: "Thanks to my #Ecuador for all the support this year. We will come back even stronger."

With six games remaining, La Tri have taken 20 points from 12 games and are third in the 10-team South American standings.

The top four automatically qualify for the tournament in Russia in two years and the fifth-placed side will go into a playoff with the Oceania winners.

"Prior to the start of qualifying and looking at the rivals and the players they have, it was difficult to imagine that we could be in this position with teams like Argentina, Chile and Colombia behind us," Quinteros said. "We are in a good position and we are optimistic. The team is playing well.

"Against Venezuela, we added three more points that puts us one step closer to our aim."

Ecuador play away to Paraguay on March 23, 2017 before hosting Colombia in Quito.

Rodriguez was criticised this week by former Colombia international Faustino Asprilla, who said that the Real Madrid player should not imitate the gestures of teammate Cristiano Ronaldo when he doesn't get the ball.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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