Sunday was my first chance to catch a live Ecuadorian football game in the Estadio Olímpico Atahualpa at the heart of the countries capital city, Quito. From outside the stadium looks bashed up and old but it has a character that many of the soulless, modern, sheds in Europe.
Despite being the current champions Deportivo Quito attracted barely 4,000 home fans but the obligatory brass band and drummers more than made up for the empty seats in a 40,000 capacity city.
Independiente, who were playing in a Palermo like pink strip had around 200 solitary fans to cheer them on.
The game itself was a slow affair with the relentless heat obviously restricting any bright passages of play. The uneven pitch didn’t seem to help matters and both teams struggled to control the bobbling ball.
In the end, the away team took all 3 points and were far stronger in the 2nd half . Deportivo were lethargic and generally unimpressive, especially when their star striker was red carded for a stupid hand ball late in the first half.