Quito, May 13 IANS | 5 months ago

The coach of Ecuador's national football team, Reinaldo Rueda, Monday made a last-minute decision to call experienced midfielder Edison Mendez for an upcoming friendly match against Holland this Saturday in Amsterdam.

The announcement was made by the president of the Ecuadoran Football Federation (FEF), Luis Chiriboga, who said Mendez will be travelling to Amsterdam Tuesday to meet up with the rest of the team, which was to leave later Monday, Xinhua reported.

Mendez, who plays for Colombian football club Independiente Santa Fe, was called to fill in for the absence of Enner Valencia and Walter Ayovi, who play for Mexico's Pachuca and are needed for the final match of the Mexican League.

Mendez, who has played in more than 100 international games, the 2002 and 2006 World Cups, and joined Dutch League team OVS Eindhoven in 2006, participating in many of their games, suddenly became available, said Chiriboga.

He "wasn't called initially because he could qualify, along with his team, for the final of Colombian football, but now that his team was eliminated" in the semifinals of Colombia's Opening Tournament, "he will be able to process his visa and travel tomorrow," said Chiriboga.

The match with Holland is part of preparatory friendlies in the lead-up to the 2014 Brazil World Cup, where Ecuador will have to play the Dutch team, as members of Group E, along with France and Switzerland, in order to advance.

Ecuador then has another two friendlies, against Mexico on May 30 in Chicago, and against England on June 4 in Miami.

Ecuador defeated Australia 4-3 in its first friendly of the year in March in London.

(Posted on 13-05-2014)

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