Ecuador beat Uruguay quite easily in the second matchday of the World Cup qualifiers. The home team, with a slight altitude advantage, dominated Uruguay and managed to exploit the many weaknesses of Uruguay in the game. Ecuador set up in a 4-4-2 formation against the 4-4-2 formation of Uruguay.
- A1 – Very good, could play higher
- A2 – Strong potential to play higher
- B1 – Good, strong player at level
- B2 – Potential to be strong player at level
- C – Average for the level, re-watch
- D – Below average in this match
- Nationality: Ecuadorian
- Age: 22
- Date of birth: 18/02/1998
- Current Club: Independiente del Valle
- Career: CD América de Quito (Y), Independiente del Valle (Y), Independiente del Valle
- Position: right-back
- Secondary Position: right winger, left-back
- Preferred foot: right
Angelo Preciado played as the right-back for Ecuador in this match and had an okay performance. He showed good positioning and decision-making in transition from attack to defence and managed to recover possession in some situations. The right-back of Independiente del Valle sometimes was forced to make a decision in a 2v1 situation on his wing and he made the good decisions in these situations, which was often to cover the run of the overlapping full-back rather than put pressure on his direct opponent. Preciado did not always look secure in the 1v1 duels vs. Brian Rodriguez, but this was a very small sample size since he only had two or three duels with the Uruguayan youngster as he got subbed off after the first half. The Ecuadorian youngster did well to stay narrow to provide cover in the back of the left central defender.
In attack, Angelo Preciado showed his potential. His positional game was superb, he worked together well with Mena on the right wing. Preciado was capable of creating space for Mena when he dropped deep while sticking close to the sideline when he moved inside which attracted his opponent to follow him. He was always aware of the positioning of Mena and adjusted his positioning accordingly. The Ecuadorian full-back also was very active on his own half to open up passing lanes at the right time when Ecuador were put under some early pressure. This only happened a few times as Uruguay realized that it did not really work out for them. Angelo Preciado showed great intensity and stamina as he kept running down the wing for 90 minutes. He made both under- and overlapping runs in the final third and had a lot of variety in his attacking play.
He made a big mistake in the last minute which nearly led to the 4-3 of Uruguay as he gave away the ball on his own half. However, he looked very confident on the ball throughout the game and his ability on the ball and off the ball movement is impressive.
Rating – A1
It is a matter of time before he leaves Independiente del Valle to either move to the Serie A (like Alan Franco did) or to Portugal.
- Nationality: Ecuador
- Age: 18
- Date of birth: 02/11/2001
- Current Club: Independiente del Valle
- Position: Central Midfield
- Secondary Position: Defensive Midfield
- Preferred foot: Right
Moises Caicedo played as one of the two central midfielders for Ecuador and came up against the likes of Rodrigo Bentancur and Fede Valverde. The 18-year-old Ecuadorian looked impressive and dominated the play against them in what was only his second ever match for the national team of Ecuador. Caicedo played with a lot of confidence and looked very press-resistant, being able to use his good first touch and technique to play out of pressure. He either played first time passes in these situations or used his touch and decent physique to hold off his opponent. However, as mentioned above, Uruguay did not put early pressure on Ecuador that many times. The young Ecuadorian got his first international goal after he headed a Mena cross into the back of the net and nearly scored his second goal after he showed good movement in the box once again.
Caicedo won a lot of duels in defence and looked very mature in this game. He covered a lot of space in defence and covered runs in behind from the opponent very well. However, he could not do this as much as he probably liked to in the second half since he looked quite tired. Still, he battled well and showed good determination to keep going. What was impressive is that even though he looked tired, he could still win duels and then keep the ball close to his body and pass his opponent using his good technique in the tight spaces. Moises Caicedo also did well to scan before receiving and formed a great duo with Gruezo. To summarize, his technique, off the ball movement and ball-playing ability in combination with his defensive and physical ability make him a really interesting player for the European elite (in the future).
Rating – A1
He has only been a starter for Independiente del Valle for a short period, but he is already one of the best players and at Ecuador he showed that he can also do it against the likes of Fede Valverde and Rodrigo Bentancur. Moises Caicedo is a special talent who can do big things in his career.
Pervis Estupiñan also is a under 23 player that started for Ecuador but I wanted to focus on Preciado and Moises Caicedo since they still play in South America.