Ecuador coach Reinaldo Rueda dedicated to the late Cristian Benitez his team's qualification to the 2014 WC, despite losing 2-1 on Tuesday to Chile.
"First of all kudos to Ecuador, all the Ecuadorian football family. All Ecuador deserves this. To the great 'Chucho' (Benitez), who left us," Rueda said at the press conference after the match.
"Unfortunately only the family knows how we feel about our brother (Benitez) and this son that has left us," said the Colombian coach.
Benitez died of respiratory failure last July in Qatar, where he signed for club El Jaish SC.
Despite the defeat, Ecuador qualified as the fourth place team with 25 points and a better goal difference than the fifth, Uruguay, who will play a playoff with Jordan in November.
As for the game, Rueda highlighted the difficulties he had his team in order to counteract Chile, but stressed that they had the strength to achieve WC qualification, the third for Ecuador in their history.
The 2014 World Cup in Brazil, will be the second for coach Rueda, who led to the choice of Honduras in South Africa 2010.
Text and photo: AFP