World Cup qualifier: Argentina stunned as Ecuador score upset win

Ecuador's Miller Bolanos (centre) competes for the ball with Argentina's Nicolas Otamendi during their 2018 World Cup qualifying match at the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 8, 2015. — Reuters pic
Ecuador's Miller Bolanos (centre) competes for the ball with Argentina's Nicolas Otamendi during their 2018 World Cup qualifying match at the Antonio Vespucio Liberti stadium in Buenos Aires, Argentina, October 8, 2015. — Reuters pic

BUENOS AIRES, Oct 9 — Argentina suffered a shock 2-0 defeat to Ecuador here yesterday as goals from Frickson Erazo and Felipe Caicedo secured a famous upset in the opening round of South America’s 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament.

A miserable night for Argentina — missing injured captain Lionel Messi — was completed by what looked like a serious hamstring injury for striker Sergio Aguero, stretchered off after only 20 minutes.

A lacklustre match looked to be heading for a goalless draw until Erazo headed in from a corner on 81 minutes to give Ecuador a shock lead which silenced the Estadio Monumental.

A minute later, Antonio Valencia burst clear down the right flank and squared for Caicedo, who coolly tucked away a low finish past Manchester United goalkeeper Sergio Romero.

The defeat is certain to pile the pressure on Argentina coach Gerardo Martino, already under scrutiny after his side failed to end their title drought in this year’s Copa America. — AFP