Mon, May 30, 2011 - Page 19 News List

Mexico, Ecuador draw 1-1 in front of over 50,000 fans

AFP, SEATTLE, WASHINGTON

Fans cheer during the match between Mexico and Ecuador at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday.

Photo: AFP

Mexico and Ecuador, warming up for regional tournaments, played to a 1-1 draw in Seattle, Washington, on Saturday in a friendly international soccer match that drew 50,305 fans to Qwest Field.

Michael Arroyo’s 37th-minute strike gave Ecuador the draw, after Jorge Torres Nilo opened the scoring for Mexico in the seventh minute.

Arroyo’s shot from just outside the penalty area was one of Ecaudor’s few scoring chances.

Mexico gave themselves more opportunities, but manager Jose Manuel de la Torre said his team need to be able to convert more of their chances.

“When a team defends well, for instance, there is very[little] space, and with that, there were going to be few opportunities,” De la Torre said. “We had to be more effective, and we had to convert. We had a few of those opportunities, but we could not convert them into goals.”

The corner that led to Mexico’s goal was set up when Aldo de Nigris’ shot was batted away by Ecuadoran keeper Maximo Banguera.

Hector Moreno sent the corner across the penalty area, and Torres Nilo found the net for what Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda called a “surprising goal.”

“There were some surprising moments at the beginning of the game, especially that surprising goal, and we had to make it up,” Rueda said. “Maybe the first few minutes, we were not focused on a set-piece play.”

Mexico gave themselves a string of chances in the final 20 minutes, and de la Torre was pleased in general with what he saw from his team as they prepare to defend their title in the North and Central America and Caribbean region’s Gold Cup, which will be held in the US next month.

“It’s good to have these preparation games,” de la Torre said. “We see how teams are playing, but more than anything, players need to be ready for any circumstances that show up on the field.”

Mexico will play one more friendly against New Zealand in Denver, Colorado, on Wednesday before opening their Gold Cup campaign on June 5 against El Salvador.

Ecuador are preparing for South America’s Copa America that begins in early July in Argentina. They’ll play a friendly against Canada on Wednesday in Toronto.

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