Friday, June 16, 2006

Go Ecuador!

HAMBURG, Germany (AP) -- While the vanquished Costa Ricans hung their heads in bewilderment, Ivan Kaviedes pulled a Spiderman mask from his shorts -- in Ecuador's team color of yellow, of course -- stretched it over his head and ran around like a schoolboy.

If anyone deserved to celebrate, he did, after scoring two minutes into injury time and putting an exclamation point on a 3-0 victory that put Ecuador in the second round of the World Cup for the first time.

His masked-man stunt was a tribute to Otilino Tenorio, a teammate killed in a May 2005 car crash in Ecuador, just three days after he played for his country in an exhibition game at New Jersey's Giants Stadium.

"He is a partner, a friend, a brother who was with us and is a part of us," Kaviedes said. "He was with us a long, long time, and he transferred to us this joy that was very contagious."

Tenorio, whose nickname was "Spiderman," used to pull the mask from his shorts during his goal celebrations.