Mexico took a big step towards the second round with a stylish win over World Cup debutants Ecuador in Miyagi.
After taking a fifth-minute lead, Ecuador paid the price for sitting back, and despite a late rally, were unable to avoid defeat.
Agustin Delgado's nine goals in qualification played a large part in taking Ecuador to their first World Cup finals and he got his team off to a dream start.
With just five minutes gone Ulises de la Cruz crossed from the right and Delgado rose to power in a header which Oscar Perez got a hand to but was unable to keep out.
Having got their noses in front, Ecudaor seemed content to hold on to their lead, sitting deep and inviting the Mexicans to come on to them.
Much of Mexico's neat early approach play foundered on poor final passes, unable to find the quality to pick their way through Ecuador's massed ranks on the edge of their own penalty area.
Unable to force their way through the middle Mexico found a more successful route out wide to equalise on 27 minutes as Ecuador paid the price for sitting back.
Ramon Morales picked up the ball on the left and delivered a cross to the near post where Jared Borgetti got in front of Augusto Porozo to volley across Jose Cevallos.
Cuauhtemoc Blanco's cross to the near post where Braulio Luna could only glance a header across the face of goal.
Mexico were able to get Gerardo Torrado and Luna forward to support their attacks and started to carve out chances against an increasingly suspect-looking Ecuador defence.
Johan Rodriguez was sent clear on 40 minutes but a poor first touch cost him a shooting chance and he squared the ball to Blanco who was unable to dig the ball out from under his feet to get any power into his shot.
Gerardo Torrado is swamped by his team-mates
For all their superiority Mexico could have been trailing at half-time but Delgado's poor pass to Ivan Kaviedes allowed Perez to gather.
Ecuador picked up their third yellow card three minutes into the second-half when Raul Guerron followed Kaviedes and Cevallos into the referee's notebook for crudely pulling back Jesus Arellano.
Torrado was the best player on view, constantly probing for Mexico and he gave his side a deserved lead on 57 minutes.
After sliding an accurate ball into the feet of Borgetti, Torrado took the return pass and Ecuador's retreating defenders gave Torrado the invitation he needed to fire in a shot from 20 yards.
This is all new to us and I
and proud of the way my team played
Ecuador coach Hernan Dario Gomez
Ecuador were stung into activity and it needed a great interception from Mexico central defender Manuel Vidrio to prevent Carlos Tenorio's pass reaching the unmarked Delgado.
Mexico needed the insurance of a third goal and when Luna nodded down Blanco's cross Borgetti was unable to provide the finishing touch.
Borgetti then went even closer as he turned and fired in a shot which struck the foot of Cevallos' right-hand post.
Ecuador mounted a late rally, with Perez saving from Carlos Tenorio, and Edison Mendez sending a dipping volley straight at the Mexican keeper.
Mexico: Oscar Perez, Rafael Marquez (c), Manuel
Vidrio, Gerardo Torrado, Ramon Morales, Jared Borgetti (Luis Hernandez 77), Cuauhtemoc Blanco (Sigifredo Mercado 90), Braulio Luna, Salvador Carmona, Johan Rodriguez (Gabriel Caballero 87), Jesus Arellano.
Subs not used: Melvin Brown, Jorge Campos, Francisco Gabriel De Anda, Alberto Garcia Aspe, Rafael Garcia, Francisco Palencia, Alberto Rodriguez, Oswaldo Sanchez, German Villa.
Goals: Borgetti 28, Torrado 57.
Ecuador: Jose Cevallos, Augusto Poroso, Ivan Hurtado (c), Ulises De la Cruz, Alfonso Obregon (Alex Aguinaga 58), Raul
Guerron, Ivan Kaviedes (Carlos Tenorio 53), Agustin Delgado, Cleber Chala, Edison Mendez, Edwin Tenorio (Marlon Ayovi 35).
Subs not used:Nicolas Ascensio, Walter Ayovi, Juan Carlos Burbano, Geovanny Espinoza, Angel Fernandez, Luis Gomes, Geovanny Ibarra, Wellington Sanchez, Daniel Viteri.
Booked: Kaviedes, Cevallos, Guerron, Carlos Tenorio.
Goals: Delgado 5.
Referee: M Daami (Tunisia).
MATCH STATS |
| Mexico | Ecuador |
Corners (1st half) | 0 | 0 |
Corners (2nd half) | 3 | 3 |
Fouls committed | 5 | 13 |
Caught offside | 7 | 3 |
Shots on target | 4 | 5 |
Shots off target | 6 | 2 |
Hit woodwork (back into play) | 1 | 0 |
Yellow cards | 0 | 4 |
Red cards | 0 | 0 |
STOPPAGE TIME | |
First half - 1 mins | Second half - 3 mins |