While once minnows, Thursday’s opponents are now anything but the walkovers they were when the sides first met back in 1949
On Thursday, Brazil return to World Cup qualifying action with a clash against Ecuador at the Gremio Arena in Porto Alegre.
Historically, Ecuador have posed the five-time world champions few problems in a fixture that has produced no shortage of goals. The two sides first met way back in 1942.
Below, Brasil Global Tour looks back at some of the great clashes between the two sides.
Brazil and Ecuador first locked horns in the South American Championships of 1942, the precursor to what is now known as the Copa America. They met in Montevideo for what was the fifth round of the heptagonal, and the Selecao ran out winners in a comprehensive 5-1 demolition, with Pirillo and Zizinho the stars of the show.
The one-sided affair was hardly a surprise, with football still relatively new to Ecuador and the country yet to even organise a national league tournament. While Brazilian football went professional in 1933, the Ecuadorian top flight was not born until 1957. The next few years would see the Selecao repeatedly stroll past Ecuador. The two sides next met in 1945 and 1949, with Brazil winning 9-2 and 9-1, respectively.
|TENSION IN VINA DEL MAR|
In 1991, Paulo Roberto Falcao led the Selecao into a crunch Copa America tie with Ecuador, with Brazil needing to triumph by two goals to secure qualification for the next stage of the Copa America in Chile. While Mazinho netted after just eight minutes to get Brazil off to the perfect start, it would be a tense affair in Vina del Mar.
Ecuador equalised just four minutes later through Carlos Munoz, leaving the sides locked at 1-1 going into the break. Marcio Santos reinstated Brazil’s lead 10 minutes into the second half, before an anxious wait that saw Luis Henrique grab the all-important third with just one minute remaining. Brazil, however, would go on to lose to old rivals Argentina in the final.
|MINNOWS NO MORE|
Come the qualification process for World Cup 2002, international football in South America was changing. Ecuador were no longer minnows. They had a genuine superstar in Alex Aguinaga, a No.10 who certainly wouldn’t look out of place lining up for Brazil. They also had a genuine goalscorer in Agustin Delgado, who hit the fifth of his nine goals in of the campaign to see off Brazil and secure a famous victory for the rising power in Quito.
Brazil had landed in Quito just a few hours before kick-off in order to reduce the effects of altitude, but were left gasping for air five minutes after half-time when Ivan Kaviedes breezed past three defenders before sending a scuffed shot across goal for Delgado to poke home. Ecuador not only went on to qualify for their first-ever World Cup, but they did so by finishing ahead of Brazil in the table.
|OLE AT THE MARACANA|
In 2007, after suffering a disastrous 2006 World Cup quarter-final defeat to France, the Selecao returned to great Maracana hoping to win back the hearts of the Rio public. After a first half devoid of any real excitement, Dunga’s side woke up after the break to put on a show.
More than 85,000 fans watched a stunning second-half display that resulted in a 5-0 rout of Ecuador, with Vagner Love, Ronaldinho, Elano, and a brace from Kaka secured what was, eventually, a very comfortable victory. The win took Brazil to the top of the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying group, and the team were serenaded with chants of olé from a satisfied public.
New Brazil coach Tite made his debut in the dugout as the Selecao got their World Cup qualifying campaign back on track with a 3-0 victory over Ecuador. A penalty from Neymar and two goals from Gabriel Jesus gave the five-time world champions their first win in Quito for 33 years.
There were some teething issues in the first half but Brazil came alive in the final 20 minutes as Gabriel Jesus had a direct hand in all three goals on a stunning senior international debut. It was Brazil’s first win in Quito in 33 years and the first of Tite’s unprecedented run of eight consecutive victories in World Cup qualifying.