Ecuador beats Portugal 3-2 in friendly

Felipe Caicedo scored a 70th-minute winner as Ecuador beat

Portugal 3-2 in a friendly Wednesday, extending the European

Championship semifinalist’s winless streak to four games.

Caicedo was unmarked on the edge of the penalty area when he

fired a powerful left-foot shot as defensive errors cost the

Portuguese victory.

The result was a setback for Portugal coach Paulo Bento who

wanted his team to bounce back after losing 1-0 in Russia and

drawing 1-1 against Northern Ireland in its last two World Cup

qualifying games, as well as being held 2-2 by Gabon in an

exhibition match. Ecuador is unbeaten in its last four matches.

Antonio Valencia put the visitor ahead just three minutes into

the match, the Manchester United winger heading in at the back post

as goalkeeper Eduardo failed to collect Jefferson Montero’s cross

from the left.

Cristiano Ronaldo had two chances either side of Valencia’s

strike before finding the net in the 23rd. The Portugal captain

received a flicked back-heel pass from Real Madrid teammate Fabio

Coentrao and sent his marker the wrong way to volley unopposed into

the far corner of the net.

Helder Postiga put Portugal ahead for the first time in the 60th

as the hosts’ second-half dominance paid off. But two minutes later

right back Joao Pereira deflected the ball past Eduardo in a clumsy

back-pass as Portugal’s backline blunders mounted.

Portuguese substitute Silvestre Varela came close to leveling

the score when he headed against the woodwork in the 89th.

But the home defense looked ragged again as Christian Benitez

hit wide of an empty Portuguese net in a counter-attack in injury

time.