A late Matias Alustiza strike helped Deportivo Quito to their third Ecuadorian Serie A title in four years as they defeated Emelec 1-0 in Quito on Saturday, giving them a 2-0 aggregate victory in the championship decider.
Having triumphed in Guayaquil, Deportivo Quito were clear favourites back on home soil at the altitude of Quito and enjoyed the better of a scrappy first half in which neither team was able to get on the ball to dictate the rhythm of play.
Their task became that much easier early second half when Emelec defender Eduardo Morante, terrorised throughout by Fidel Martinez, received a second yellow card for a foul on the young forward and was dismissed from the field of play.
The home side, already comfortably dealing with the limited threat posed by an Emelec side lacking invention or penetration, looked in little danger of conceding – excepting one chance created for Walter Iza by David Quiroz, but well saved by Marcelo Elizaga – and as their opponents became ever more desperate to equalise, they began to create opportunities of their own on the counter-attack.
Alustiza, introduced just after the hour mark, missed two excellent chances to secure the league title, before finally, in the 89th minute, doing just that, cutting inside and unleashing an unstoppable right footed effort into the corner of the net from just outside the area.
The final whistle was greeted with emotional scenes of celebration from the home supporters, players and Argentine coach Carlos Ischia, winning his first title outside of his homeland. His decision to switch from his usual 4-4-2 formation to a 3-4-1-2 had paid huge dividends and he dedicated the title to his four children, four grandchildren and “the love of my life.”
Midfielder Oswaldo Minda struggled to fight back the tears when interviewed shortly after the final whistle, but praised Deportivo Quito’s supporters as “exceptional”. Luis Saritama was more coherent, saying: “I am proud to be the captain of this group of friends who always dreamed of reaching this goal.”
Deportivo Quito’s victory was their third league title triumph in the last four years, while Emelec’s title drought, dating back to 2002, continues. Emelec are also now tied with their Guayaquil neighbours SC Barcelona as the team with the most runners-up finishes in the history of the Ecuadorian league – 11 apiece.
Goal + Subsequent Celebrations