Ecuador are one step closer to qualifying to the round of 16, but they have a little great problem ahead and it's no other than France. La Tri need to work very hard before the last matchday of Group E.
Reinaldo Rueda's boys haven't had a walk in the park. So far they have three points, after losing to Switzerland in the last minute of the game and defeating Honduras, barely.
In the meantime, France have been convincing. They have won both of their games with a difference of three goals in each of them.
They trashed Honduras 3-0 and then repeated the dose to Switzerland 5-2. This scenario puts Ecuador in a tough spot, and so what they need to fix soon is as follows.
France had 10 shots on target against Honduras and 22 in front of Switzerland. Crosses are key for the Europeans. Against La H they sent 32, and versus the Nati they completed 16.
Ecuador are shaky in the back line. Switzerland scored the winning goal in a counter-attack in the last play of the game.
Set pieces are also dreadful for La Tri, as they don't track the rivals closely, which leaves spaces inside the box. That's something France won't miss.
Les Bleus are very fast. They get into the penalty area with speed and power, and that's how they have scored six of their eight goals.
Ecuador may be strong and fast, but France's fine touch and mobility especially through the left flank will put the South Americans in distress.
Ecuador haven't had many goal opportunities so far. In their debut game, they shot only six times on target, while in the second matchday they had five chances on target. Their goal tally equals three.
They will have very few goal options against France, and they cannot miss like they have. Ecuador have powerful players like Walter Ayovi, Joao Rojas, Enner Valencia and Antonio Valencia.
They need to come together to really put some pressure on France. Ecuador's speed is already an advantage; they just have to find a way to have a finer touch.
France have been sharper in every game. They were a bit erratic in their first one, especially in the last third of the pitch, but versus Switzerland they proved how accurate they can be.
The moment Ecuador lose the ball, they will dug their own grave. France had 63 percent ball possession against Honduras. They had a feast against La H, and they could have scored even more.
In front of Switzerland, they recovered 40 balls and had 76 percent of pass effectiveness.
Reinaldo Rueda must take this into consideration because Les Bleus' fluidity through the flanks and depth in the penalty box usually comes from the center of the pitch.
France should not have a problem with Ecuador. La Tri must win because they depend on Switzerland's result against Honduras, and Rueda knows he cannot take any risk.
This will be Ecuador's toughest match, and a draw may not be enough to make it to the round of 16 for the second time in their history.
La Tri have five days to work hard and strive for a miracle. In all honesty, it seems like one of the longest shots ever.
All advance stats appear courtesy of FIFA.com, unless otherwise noted.
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