The 2011 South American Youth Championship is currently in progress in Peru. This tournament determines which teams go to this year’s FIFA U-20 World Cup and/or the 2012 Summer Olympics in London. Ecuador is fighting for the top four spot in a six-team group to at least make the U-20 World Cup (top 2 teams qualify for the Olympics) and last Thursday they played Uruguay in a crucial final stage match. With the score tied 1-1, Marlon De Jesus had a chance to give Ecuador a priceless lead but instead had one of the most stupefying misses in history.
After De Jesus fluffed an open goal chance the game finished 1-1 and it was two points dropped for Ecuador.
With two rounds remaining (to be played on the 9th and 12th) the Ecuadorians can clinch a U-20 World Cup spot with a win in their next game against Brazil or a Colombia victory against Chile. However a loss for Ecuador coupled with a winner in the Uruguay/Argentina game would knock them out of Olympic qualification. So while a berth in the U-20 World Cup in Colombia is likely they really put themselves in a tough spot in regards to London 2012 thanks to a shocking miss by Marlon De Jesus.
Luckily, De Jesus had his miss overshadowed by an even worse one by Liverpool’s Maxi Rodriguez against Chelsea on Sunday; there’s video lurking but you know it will be pulled immediately. Luckily Liverpool won 1-0 and Chelsea essentially has no choice but to win out to retain their Premier League title. Since that ain’t happening I think I’ll write them off.