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Thursday, 13 June, 2002, 16:55 GMT 17:55 UK

Reasons to be cheerful

By Rodrigo Amaral
BBC Sport Online

Their team may now be heading home, but the Ecuadorean media are delighted with the way their first World Cup has gone.

The first victory, beating Croatia 1-0 on Thursday, is a reason for particular rejoicing.

El Comercio newspaper says Ecuador "finished its first World Cup adventure in great style".

It continues: "It was a convincing win against Croatia.

"It wasn't enough to reach the second round, but the game made history because Ecuador scored their first points among the football greats.

"In the end, Ecuador achieved a historic feat that will allow them to go away proud of itself."

The Hoy newspaper says Ecuador's first win can teach important lessons to the whole country.

"The team has proved that in our country it is possible to do great things if there is some planning," it says.


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