Ecuador sails past Costa Rica into second round

June 15, 2006

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- Ecuador hit a new soccer high, reaching the second round of the World Cup for the first time.

Carlos Tenorio and Agustin Delgado scored their second goals of the tournament, and Ecuador cruised past Costa Rica 3-0 Thursday.

Ecuador and host Germany (both 2-0) claimed the two berths from Group A and will meet England, Sweden, Trinidad and Tobago or Paraguay in the second round.

"We're now thinking about being group leaders, we think about winning every game," Delgado said. "We want to win the next game, even though we're in the second round."

Ecuador plays the Germans on Tuesday, needing only a tie to claim first place.

"I think it'll be the most beautiful game to play, even more so because we already advanced," Delgado said.

Costa Rica and Poland, both 0-2, became the first teams eliminated from the 32-nation field.

Tenorio scored in the eighth minute and Delgado in the 54th. Ivan Kaviedes, who replaced Tenorio at the start of the second half, scored in the second minute of injury time from 6 yards off a cross from Edison Mendez, getting by captain Luis Marin and sliding to poke the ball in. Kaviedes pulled a yellow mask out of his pants and put it over his head, looking like a cross between Spiderman and Tweety Bird.

Goalkeeper Cristian Mora, again playing with Ecuador flags painted on his cheeks, jumped with joy after Delgado's goal built a two-goal margin early in the second half.

Historically, the Tricolors have found success only at their home field in Quito, more than 9,000 feet above sea level. But after winning just once in 10 games coming into their second World Cup, the South Americans have won two in a row, starting with a 2-0 victory over Poland last Friday.

"We made history and that's what we came here to do," Ecuador coach Luis Suarez said. "We achieved our first goal, but it won't be the only one."

Costa Rica, Central America's dominant team, was coming off a 4-2 loss to Germany in the World Cup opener and was eliminated in the first round for the second straight World Cup. Four years ago, the Ticos lost out to Turkey on goal difference.

Tenorio scored his seventh goal in 31 international appearances after some nifty passing in the midfield. The ball was played to Luis Valencia on the right flank, and he crossed around Marin to Tenorio, who burst ahead of Douglas Sequeira and beat goalkeeper Jose Porras with a header from close range.

Considered the successor to Delgado as Ecuador's top scorer, Tenorio left the game at halftime.

Delgado got his 31st goal in 70 appearances following a throw-in, exchanging passes, bursting between Marin and Michael Umana, then beating Porras to the near post. Kaviedes' goal was his 14th in 46 games for Ecuador.

While the Ecuadorean fans, dressed in canary yellow, sang and banged drums in one corner, Ticos supporters, clad in fire-truck red in the other corner, were stunned into silence for long stretches.

Costa Rica's best chance to get back in the game came in the 42nd minute, when Sequeira tried to bounce a header in and missed wide. A minute earlier, Porras had to lean back to parry a deflected cross. Alvaro Saboria hit the underside of the crossbar in the 88th, only to have the ball bounce out.