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Ecuador players line up for the team photos prior to the match
© Getty Images

FIFA World Cup™ finals history*
Ecuador were absent from the first six FIFA World Cups and only began taking part in qualifying in the run-up to Chile 1962. They made their tournament debut as recently as 2002 at Korea/Japan and have only missed the South Africa 2010 finals since then. Their best achievement to date was at Germany 2006, where they reached the Round of 16.

*The team
In Walter Ayovi, Antonio Valencia, Felipe Caicedo, Christian Noboa and Enner Valencia Ecuador have the ideal mix of youth and experience needed to stay among the world’s elite. Qualifying for Russia 2018 is the minimum target for a group of players eager to improve on their performance at Brazil 2014, where they were unable to progress beyond the group stage.

*The coach
Jorge Celico is set to take charge of *El Tri *for their final two qualifiers.

The stat
– The number of World Cups Ecuador have participated at, all of which have come since 2002.

*The former stars
Alberto Spencer, Ivan Kaviedes, Agustin Delgado, Ivan Hurtado, Luis Capurro, Jose Cevallos, Alex Aguinaga, Ulises de la Cruz, Edison Mendez