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 Posted by ESPN Staff
Jun 21, 2006

Suarez glad to put Ecuador on the map

BAD KISSINGEN, Germany, June 21 (Reuters) - Ecuador coach Luis Fernando Suarez has achieved one of his ambitions by showing the world another side to South American soccer.

'Historically, when people talk about South American soccer they always talk about Argentina or Brazil but now the world and the press are also talking about Ecuador,' he said.

'It is something that makes me very happy.'

Playing in only their second World Cup after their debut in 2002, Ecuador are through to the last 16 for the first time and will play England in Stuttgart on Sunday.

Asked if the game would be an 'all or nothing' occasion, he said that that would imply they had not already achieved great things in this tournament.

Ecuador came into the World Cup with the suggestion they could only play well at altitude after they won seven of their nine home qualifiers, including victories over Brazil and Argentina, in Quito some 2,800 metres above sea level.

Their record in away matches, where they lost six, added to the argument.

But in Germany, they have cruised past Poland 2-0 and Costa Rica 3-0, before losing to the hosts to secure second place in Group A.

For Tuesday's game against Germany, Suarez made five changes installing an all-new striking duo of Ivan Kaviedes and Felix Borja in place of Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado. The team struggled throughout, losing the match 3-0.

Despite criticism from the media in Ecuador, Suarez said his only regret was that he had not made more changes as his priority was to see the players rested and in perfect shape for the England tie.

Suarez told the press conference he thought Sven-Goran Eriksson's side was probably the best English team he had seen in his lifetime.