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Ecuador v Bolivia: Raldes bullish about qualification chances

Bolivia captain Ronald Raldes is confident his team can boost their quarter-final hopes by defeating Ecuador.

Raldes and Co. will take on Group A rivals Ecuador in Valparaiso on Monday, with both nations searching for their first wins of the Copa America campaign.

Bolivia played out a dour goalless draw against invitees Mexico, while Ecuador lost 2-0 to host nation Chile.

Mauricio Soria’s men have only won one of their past 18 international fixtures but Raldes is bullish about Bolivia’s chances of reaching the knockout phase.

Bolivia – champions in 1963 – have not progressed beyond the group stages since 1997, when they made it all the way to the final as host nation and lost to Brazil.

“We wanted to beat Mexico, but now we must move forward. The Copa is short and we must not lose time, Ecuador will be difficult but we can beat him,” the 34-year-old said.

“We will begin to see the video to study it, but I know we can qualify to the next round.”

Striker Marcelo Martins Moreno should take his place against Ecuador, despite being seen with a bandage and ice on his right foot following Friday’s stalemate.

Ecuador – unbeaten in 10 matches against Bolivia – do not have a point to their name heading into the clash at Estadio Elias Figueroa after the loss in Santiago.

Chile dominated in the capital but they were thwarted by the Ecuadorians up until the 67th minute, when Arturo Vidal converted his own penalty.

Substitute Eduardo Vargas sealed the points after Enner Valencia rattled the crossbar minutes earlier, however Christian Noboa and his team-mates have not given up hope.

“This is football, there are two games and six points in dispute. We have to keep working,” Noboa said.

Noboa added: “We did a great match. Chile could not get in because we did a great job tactically. The game changed when they awarded the penalty. For me, there was nothing [there].”

Sun 14 Jun, 2015
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