Something weird is happening in Quito - a drought, of sorts. Liga de Quito are running short on goals. Though they’ve yet to lose in Ecuador’s second phase, Liga’s only 2-4-0 and have been held to three 0-0 draws (including Friday’s at Técnico Universitario).
This is not what we’ve come to expect from Liga, a team that’s used their 2008 Copa Libertadores title to become the most famous club in Ecuador. To get their, they used an expansive style that utilized their width (and Quito’s elevation) to run their opponents into the ground. In that 2008 final, they scored five goals against Fluminense, including four at altitude in Ecuador.
In the season’s first phase, Liga scored 32 goals, a perfectly respectable total. It ranked fourth in the league, but it was also too dependent on one player. Argentine Claudio Bieler, in his second season back with Liga, scored 16 times in 18 games.
Now, Bieler has slowed down, scoring only twice in the second phases’ first six rounds, meaning Liga needs somebody else to step up. But who? Nobody else has scored more than six times (though one of those players is 17-year-old Jose Cevallos Enriquez).
While Liga figures that out, they sit three points back of first. Manta, who finished ninth in the first phase, sit on top of the league, with Macará (10th in first stage) one point back.