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Thursday, 2 May, 2002, 17:04 GMT 18:04 UK
Gomez: Inter taught us a lesson
Ecuador celebrate
There is work to do if Ecuador are to have anything to celebrate next month

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Ecuador coach Hernan Dario Gomez believes the 2-1 defeat by Brazilian club side Inter de Porto Alegre will do his players no harm.

"This game gave us a dose of reality" Gomez told journalists in Quito after the game on Wednesday night.

Alex Aguinaga
Aguinaga was sent off in the final minutes.

The coach added that it might also help lower the public's inflated expectations.

"Many believe that we are a better side than our World Cup rivals Italy, Croatia and Mexico, but we are going to Korea and Japan to learn and the fans need to know that," Gomez said.

Ecuadorean newspaper El Comercio headlined its report of the game "A sad goodbye".

However, Gomez thinks the defeat illuminated several problem areas he can and will rectify.

Upbeat defender Ulises de la Cruz, who plays for Scottish club Hibernian, told the press that "we are preparing to surprise a few people at the World Cup".

Ecuador drew 0-0 with South Africa on 17 April after beating Bulgaria 3-0 on 27 March.

The team travels south to Guayaquil to play club side Barcelona on Friday in the final domestic warm-up game.

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GROUP G
  P GD PTS
MEXICO 3 +2 7
ITALY 3 +1 4
CROATIA 3 -1 3
ECUADOR 3 -2 3

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