Emelec moved four points clear atop Ecuador Serie A as their nearest rivals stumbled with draws.
Marlon de Jesus struck the winner from the penalty spot to give Emelec a 2-1 victory at home to Deportivo Quevedo.
Emelec have played two fewer games than the three teams behind them, giving them a huge advantage over halfway through the season.
Fernando Gimenez had given Emelec a 21st-minute lead but his opener was cancelled out by Jorge Ladines just before half-time.
De Jesus’ penalty seven minutes after the break was the difference between the teams.
Federico Nieto and Walter Calderon netted late as Deportivo Quito came from behind to draw 2-2 at Universidad Catolica, with both teams finishing the encounter with 10 men.
Deportivo Quito are second – four points behind the leaders – while Catolica sit fourth, seven points adrift.
Third-placed LDU Quito were held to a 1-1 draw at home to LDU Loja, while El Nacional came from behind to beat Manta 2-1.
Lowly Macara drew 0-0 against Barcelona and Andres Rios scored a late winner to give Deportivo Cuenca a 2-1 victory over Independiente.
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