Venezuela 1 Ecuador 3: Leaders extend advantage with comfortable victory


Ecuador strolled to a 3-1 victory in Venezuela to maintain their perfect record in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup.

Having seen his first attempt ruled out for offside after 10 minutes, Fidel Martinez - sent clear by Juan Carlos Paredes - judged his run to perfection to slot past Alain Baroja.

Ecuador continued to find gaping holes in the home defence and Baroja left his side horribly outnumbered when he undercooked a 23rd-minute clearance, Jefferson Montero keeping his cool to punish the goalkeeper's error.

Martinez threatened to double his personal tally when he curled against the outside of the left-hand post early in the second half.

But the points were wrapped up on the hour-mark when Felipe Caicedo met a Montero cross to power home a header from 12 yards.

Walter Ayovi found the woodwork again with a curling free-kick, before Josef Martinez netted a consolation for Venezuela with six minutes left on the clock.

The result sees Ecuador move move five points clear of Chile, who play later on Tuesday, at the top of the table, while Venezuela stay bottom with no points from their four matches.