23 de abril de 2019
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Ecuador silences critics with strong play in friendlies

Guayaquil, Ecuador, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's national soccer team, once again under the guidance of Colombian head coach Hernan "Bolillo" Gomez, has silenced some of the mild criticism surrounding the squad with solid performances in friendly matches in recent days.

 Colombia's Herna

Colombia's Herna "Bolillo" Gomez speaks during an event in Guayaquil on Aug. 1, 2018, in which he was introduced as the Ecuadorian national soccer team's new head coach. EPA-EFE/Jose Alvarado

Guayaquil, Ecuador, Sep 12 (efe-epa).- Ecuador's national soccer team, once again under the guidance of Colombian head coach Hernan "Bolillo" Gomez, has silenced some of the mild criticism surrounding the squad with solid performances in friendly matches in recent days.

Ecuador defeated Jamaica 2-0 on Sept. 7 in New Jersey and then topped Guatemala by the same score on Tuesday night in Chicago.

Beyond the positive results on the scoreboard, the Tricolor followed Gomez's demands for humility, unity and respect in every action on and off the field.

The squad, which during Gomez's first stint as Ecuador's head coach (1999-2004) became known for its one-touch passing, is now buying into his call for more depth in attack and a greater emphasis on maintaining possession.

Furthermore, even though no members of the squad who play for club teams in Europe were called up for the games against Jamaica and Ecuador, the team showed it has different alternatives and variations it can employ.

Particularly impressive in their first international action were midfielders and Ecuadorian league players Edison Vega, Alan Franco and Jhegson Mendez.

Gomez's hiring was criticized by some in Ecuador even though he led the Tricolor to their first-ever World Cup berth in 2002 and pulled off the same feat as Panama's manager in the most recent World Cup cycle.

Ecuador's squad will next head to the Middle East for matches against Qatar and Oman on Oct. 12 and Oct. 16, respectively.

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