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Ecuador awarded medals for World Cup performance
2006-07-05 09:59:00   Xinhuanet  


QUITO, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Ecuador¡¯s World Cup squad were awarded medals by the country¡¯s government on Monday for their performance in Germany where the team reached the second round of the tournament for the first time.

"You have given us a great lesson," President Alfredo Palacio told the players during a ceremony inside the government palace. "Ecuador needs that sense of team spirit."

Ecuador defeated Costa Rica and Poland to advance to the World Cup second round, sparking massive celebrations in a country deeply divided by political instability and poverty.

The team were knocked out by a 1-0 defeat to England but were welcomed home last week as heroes by thousands of cheering fans clad in the squad¡¯s yellow jerseys.

Sitting to the left of the president, team captain Ivan Hurtado said: "Through soccer the whole world knows a united Ecuador...and the future of the country is the only match we can¡¯t lose." 


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