LDU Quito – Match Report vs. Manta FC (05/06/2022)

LDU Quito had to travel to Manta to play against second-tier side Manta FC in the Ecuadorian cup. In a heavy possession-based 4-3-3, the visitors struggled to create many chances against a defensive-minded Manta FC. The hosts tried everything to keep LDU Quito away from their goal, defending in a low block and staying compact. With a midfield that lacked the capability to create chances, LDU Quito failed to score a goal in the first 70 minutes. In the end, Nilson Angulo scored the winner in the 71st minute for the Ecuadorian visitors, which means that LDU Quito has progressed to the next round of the cup in which they will play against the winner of the Imbabura vs. Guayaquil City match.


  • A1 – Very good, could play higher
  • A2 – Strong potential to play higher
  • B1 – Good, strong player at level
  • B2 – Potential to be a strong player at level
  • C – Average for the level, rewatch
  • D – Below average in this match

Zaid Romero

  • Nationality: Argentinian
  • Age: 22
  • Date of birth: 15/12/1999
  • Club: LDU Quito, on loan from Godoy Cruz
  • Career: Godoy Cruz (Y), Godoy Cruz, Villa Dálmine (L), LDU Quito (L)
  • Position: Central Defender
  • Secondary position: Left-Back
  • Preferred foot: Left

Zaid Romero played as a left central defender. He is left-footed and did not get into trouble in this match. The Argentinian defender stands at 1.95m with a normal build. He is not that quick on the first meters but has a decent pace over long distances. Most of Romero’s actions in this match were with the ball at his feet, as LDU Quito dominated possession. The build-up started with LDU Quito’s central defenders, who often positioned themselves quite close to the halfway line. Romero often passed it to defensive midfielder Piovi and was not an adventurous passer. The tall defender stepped into midfield with the ball at his feet occasionally but seemingly did not feel that comfortable doing that. The follow-up actions (after carrying the ball forward) were always quite average, not finding his teammate as his pass was often quite bad.

However, when carrying the ball, Romero had good ball control. The Argentine has a good long passing technique and was quite accurate with his long, diagonal passes. Defensively, Zaid Romero was very comfortable and confident. He made the right decisions and stepped out of the defensive line when he had to. The defender seemingly knows of his limitations because of his tall frame and keeps his distance when his opponent receives the ball with his back towards the goal. Romero does not stay too close to his opponent, as he could get dribbled past quite easily if his opponent takes a positive touch and turns around. The 22-year-old does well to force his opponent backwards without touching his opponent. But in terms of athleticism, Romero seems to have clear weaknesses as he is not that agile or quick on the turn. His mobility is quite good for his frame, but it is certainly not ideal.

Rating – A2

Zaid Romero currently is a good player at this level and could potentially move to a mid-table club in Argentina, but I do not think that he will become a player who can potentially move to a European club close to the top 5 leagues.

Joseph Espinoza

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 21
  • Date of birth: 02/07/2000
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito (Y)
  • Position: Defensive Midfield
  • Secondary position: Central Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Right

Joseph Espinoza played as a left central midfielder and is right-footed. The midfielder had an impressive performance with his movement on the pitch and quick decision-making. The Ecuadorian midfielder was less involved in the build-up than Piovi. Espinoza often moved a bit further up the pitch when Piovi was in possession to create passing angles for his teammate. He has good off the ball movement in possession, showing that he has good vision and spatial awareness. During the times when Espinoza received the ball under pressure, the Ecuadorian showed quick decision-making as he always knew where he needed to pass to. The midfielder is capable of playing with both feet and looked comfortable on the ball. He liked to move into the channels, trying to link up with teammates Ayala and N. Angulo. Espinoza did not receive the ball often in that position but his quick decision-making and good technique certainly helped in that area.

He showed that he is probably not the best player for LDU Quito in advanced areas when he received the ball in the final third. Espinoza did not take many risks and always played sideways passes in that area, not helping LDU Quito to progress the ball forward. In the midfield third, Espinoza used quite some time to release the ball when he was in space. However, as mentioned above, he showed that he is capable of making quick decisions in other situations. In that area, he also showed that he can play vertical, progressive passes. He scans well before receiving and his first touch, bar one moment, was really good. Defensively, Espinoza is not a physical presence standing at only 1,69m with a normal build, but he was good in the defensive duels thanks to his tenacity in duels. After losing possession, the Ecuadorian immediately battled for the ball.

Rating – A2

I think that Joseph Espinoza could be a really good defensive midfielder in a 4-2-3-1 for South American clubs, being the main player in possession. He is quite small, which could hold him back, but his technical ability is good and his tenacity helps him in defensive duels.

Sebastían González

  • Nationality: Spanish
  • Age: 19
  • Date of birth: 06/06/2003
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: LDU Quito (Y), CD América de Quito (Y), LDU Quito (Y), Atletico Kin (L)
  • Position: Central Midfield
  • Secondary position: Defensive Midfield
  • Preferred foot: Left

Sebastían González played as a right central midfielder in the first forty minutes, before moving to the left side and eventually getting subbed off in the 60th minute. The Spanish midfielder did not play well and deserved to get subbed off. He is a left-footed player and usually stands out with his good technique. González often moved out wide (right) in possession, receiving the ball while sticking close to the sideline. He struggled especially in that area as he failed to deal with Manta’s pressure because he did not seem confident and strong under pressure. González has quite a small frame and was not that great in the small spaces in this match. The midfielder also played a couple of loose passes, leading to potential dangerous moments for Manta on the counter-attack.

His weak foot was quite average in this match, while his shooting technique was also not that great. Sebastían González tried to shoot from distance once, which was not a good decision. The Spanish 19-year-old took almost every set-piece for LDU Quito and failed to create much danger with those set-pieces, as his crosses floated too much and he failed to direct his crosses into dangerous areas. He also struggled with his one-touch passing when the ball was in the air but did a lot better when the ball was on the ground. Playing as a left central midfielder, González used his left foot to play through passes and he performed a lot better under pressure. It seems like his lack of ability on his weak foot held González back from performing well under pressure on the right. In other words, it is important that González gets to play in the right role, because he won’t perform otherwise. Defensively, González was aggressive in the duels but was not involved that much in defence as he was the most advanced player of LDU Quito.

Rating – A2

While Sebastían González had a really bad performance, I think he showed his potential later on in the game before being subbed off. I wrote a player report on him last year.

Nilson Angulo

  • Nationality: Ecuadorian
  • Age: 18
  • Date of birth: 19/06/2003
  • Club: LDU Quito
  • Career: Independiente del Valle (Y), CSNA (Y), LDU Quito (Y), Atletico Kin (L), LDU Quito
  • Position: Striker
  • Secondary position: Winger, Attacking Midfielder
  • Preferred foot: Right

Nilson Angulo played as a left-winger during the majority of the game but moved to the right wing after 60 minutes when LDU Quito made two substitutions. He is right-footed. Angulo had a very bad performance, despite scoring the winner for the Ecuadorian side. He looked disengaged and disinterested throughout the match. In the ground duels, he was often too passive, losing possession a couple of times because he seemed to underestimate his opponent or overestimate his own ability. In the small spaces, it sometimes happened that Nilson Angulo tripped over his own feet leading to the loss of possession. I think that Angulo was the player with the most turnovers in this game. The Ecuadorian player liked to operate in the channels, but switched it up a couple of times by providing width for LDU Quito. He mostly received the ball while providing width for LDU Quito. The 18-year-old tried to beat his opponent using his pace by taking a very heavy touch, but he failed as he was not much quicker than his opponent. For the opening goal of LDU Quito, Nilson Angulo proved that he has excellent movement in the box, arriving at the right time and finishing the chance off very calmly. Standing at 1.82 meters with a normal build, the Ecuadorian has an ideal mix between physical ability, athleticism and technical ability. This could not be seen in this match, though.

Rating – A2

In the end, it was a very disappointing match for Nilson Angulo. I think he is a lot better when playing in a more central role. Angulo has the ideal frame to play as a striker or attacking midfielder and his characteristics are very suitable for that role. I will continue to monitor his performances, while I am hoping to see better performances of Angulo. Angulo has a goal contribution every 113 minutes and he’s been scoring more and more recently.

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