Ecuador team captain and historic goalscorer Enner Valencia was calm that the penalty he missed against Uruguay on Tuesday remained an anecdote after La Tri defeated La Celeste 2-1 on the second day of South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup defeated.
“They are penalties that I practice all week long. I took a lot of penalties, but unfortunately my foot was badly damaged,” the striker commented after the game on the maximum penalty he missed outside the goal.
Valencia also explained the reasons for midfielder Moisés Caicedo taking over the captain’s armband in the final minutes of the game after the Brazilian striker was substituted by Internacional.
“He is one of the leaders of the group. He didn’t want to wear it, but he is very responsible, he always helps the boys and he will be a great captain,” Valencia predicted about the Chelsea footballer.
Looking at the game, La Tri’s historic goalscorer appreciated the calm he showed against Uruguay so as not to despair after La Celeste took the lead on the scoreboard with a goal from Agustín Canobbio.
“We know how games like this go. You always have to be focused and not despair, because if you are desperate you can score another goal. “Today we handled it well and were able to get three points,” said the striker.
Valencia pointed out that its record is positive after the first two days of the South American qualifiers, which leaves Ecuador with a victory over Uruguay and a defeat against Argentina (1-0), but with 0 points since it is -3 in The process has started units for the sanction imposed in the Byron Castillo case.
For his part, midfielder Carlos Gruezo admitted that they were surprised to start the playoffs with a negative record.
“Now a new duel begins for us. We have to collect our points in every game to become stronger here, also score points abroad and qualify Ecuador for a World Cup again,” said Gruezo.
The midfielder highlighted the defensive work of the team led by Spaniard Félix Sánchez to stop the Uruguayan team led by Argentine Marcelo Bielsa.
“Today we did well, especially in defense, and we knew how to take advantage of our chances,” he noted.
For his part, defender Robert Arboleda, who left injured, indicated that he would wait for medical tests that will be carried out in the next few hours to rule out that there is nothing serious.
The Sao Paulo player expressed his joy at being able to take part in the qualifiers again with the Ecuadorian team after the serious injury he struggled with last year.
Meanwhile, striker Jhojan Julio said he was prepared for a very tough game “because Uruguay has young and hungry people.”