|| Ecuador's international football
history was a blank page until 2002. They
participated in the FIFA World Cup finals
for the first time in Korea and Japan, qualifying
for the tournament before Brazil.
||They opened with two defeats to Italy and
Mexico, before recording their first ever
victory in a FIFA World Cup against Croatia
thanks to an Edison Mendez goal, thus proving
that they were capable of success away from
the high altitudes of their capital Quito.
The newcomers, who did not play any international
outside South America until 1970, could return
home with their heads held high.