Wednesday 16 November 2016, 01:30

Quinteros: It’s a privilege to be in qualification zone

Gustavo Quinteros has expressed his delight at Ecuador’s 3-0 victory over Venezuela in 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™ qualifying and singled out Renato Ibarra for special praise. The result lifted La Tricolor to third, above Chile on goal difference and Argentina by a point.

“It was a great result against very good opponents,” said the former Bolivia defender, who did an admirable marking job on Karl-Heinz Riedle at USA 1994. “The first half was difficult. The first five, ten minutes complicated it for us. It was very tough.

“They produced some dangerous attacks, but we remained disciplined tactically. Venezuela are a very good team who have great players who play in Europe, a coach who’s very astute tactically, and I think they have fewer points than they should have for how they’ve played. We beat strong opponents.

“I’m pleased with the game. We’re in the qualification zone with not long to go in a campaign that’s very tricky. It’s a privilege and we hope to keep it up until the end.”

Arturo Mina, Miller Bolanos and Enner Valencia got the goals in Quito, but Ibarra stole the plaudits with an electrifying display.

“He played very well,” said Quinteros. “Renato is in great form, not just in football terms but also physically.”

Ecuador had never qualified for the World Cup until 2002, but have now competed in three of its last four editions.