Mexico beats Ecuador 2-1

Mexico rallied from a one-goal deficit to defeat World Cup newcomer Ecuador 2-1 in Group G of the World Cup.

updated: February 25, 2007 09:27 IST
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Miyagi, Japan:

Gerardo Torrado scored the game-winning goal in the 57th minute today as Mexico rallied from a one-goal deficit to defeat World Cup newcomer Ecuador 2-1 in Group G of the World Cup. Torrado and Jared Borgetti scored a goal apiece as Mexico appeared to be virtually assured of a second-round berth. The win gave the Mexicans sole possession of the top spot in the group with six points, trailed by Italy and Croatia, each with three points. The Mexican come-from-behind win spoiled a promising start for the Ecuadoreans, second-place finishers in South American qualifying. Southampton striker Agustin Delgado scored Ecuador's first-ever World Cup finals goal in the fifth minute, heading home a cross from Ulises De la Cruz. But Mexico regrouped, taking control of the midfield and overwhelming controlling possession. In the 28th minute, Borgetti equalized after one-touching a Ramon Morales pass and Mexico gained steam after that. The Mexicans continued to press in the second half, looking for Valladolid's Cuauhtemoc Blanco and Torrado. Torrado finally had his chance in the 57th when he blasted home a soft pass from Joahan Rodriguez just outside the box. Looking to counter Mexico's dominance in the midfield, the Ecuador coach recalled Alex Aguinaga, who had been replaced in the starting lineup by striker Ivan Kaviedes. Aginaga had suffered a muscle injury during the team's opening match, a 0-2 loss to Italy on Monday. Both teams had good scoring opportunities in the closing minutes as play opened up. Borgetti quickly turned on his defender and his right-footed shot hit the post in the 70th minute. Ecuador's Carlos Tenorio and Delgado remained threats, and a Tenoria blast just sailed wide in the 81st minute. The World Cup debutantes had another chance to equalize in the 87th when Aguinaga found Ayovi, whose shot just sailed wide. The Mexicans are playing in their 12th World Cup and have reached the second round every time but once since 1978. The CONCACAF team has reached the quarterfinals twice, both times as hosts in 1970 and 1986. The two teams have played each other 10 times, but Ecuador has only won managed one win - a 1-0 victory in a 1996 friendly. Lineups:Mexico: 1-Oscar Perez, 4-Rafael Marquez (c), 5-Manuel Vidrio,6-Gerardo Torrado, 7-Ramon Morales, 9-Jared Borgetti (Luis Hernandez, 15), 10-Cuauhtemoc Blanco, 11- Braulio Luna, 16-Salvador Carmona, 18-Johan Rodriguez, 21-Jersus Arellano Ecuador: 1-Jose Cevallos, 2-Augusto Poroso, 3-Ivan Hurtado (c), 4-Ulises De la Cruz, 5-Alfonso Obregon (Alex Aguinaga, 58), 6-Raul Guerron, 9-Ivan Kaviedes (Carlos Tenorio, 53), 11-Agustin Delgado, 16-Clever Chala, 19-Edison Mendez, 20-Edwin Tenorio (Marlon Ayovi, 35) Referee: Mourad Daami (Tunisia)