Celico to lead Ecuador in qualifying climax

  • Jorge Celico currently in charge of Ecuador's youth teams

  • Will lead the senior sides against Chile and Argentina

  • Ecuador sit eighth in South American standings on road to Russia 2018

The Ecuadorian Football Federation have confirmed that Argentinian coach Jorge Celico will take the reins of the senior side as they aim to clinch a last-gasp spot at the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia™.

Celico, who is in charge of the nation's youth teams, will stand in place of current head coach Gustavo Quinteros, whose contract will remain in place until it expires.

El Tri currently sit eighth in the race for four automatic spots and an intercontinental play-off place, trailing Peru and Argentina in fourth and fifth by four points, having won just two of their last 12 games despite having kicked off qualifying with four straight victories.

"It's a joy and a great responsibility," said Celico on receiving the role. He takes on the challenge having had previous experience coaching in Ecuador with Universidad Catolica and during a brief spell at El Nacional.