Ecuador, which sits in the perennial shadow of the South American giants Brazil, Argentina and Uruguay, had its qualifying run made easier by the automatic inclusion of Brazil in the tournament (by virtue of it being the host nation). But it still had to squeak by Uruguay to make it in.
Meanwhile, Switzerland’s 23-man squad had a strong push into the tournament, though as the BBC reports, its qualifying bracket (consisting of Iceland, Slovenia, Norway, Albania and Cyprus) wasn’t exactly top tier competition. The Beeb also notes that the diversity of the Swiss squad is an interesting counterpoint to the immigration debate roiling the country in recent months. Swiss boss Ottmar Hitzfield is quoted as saying: “Without immigrants, we would not have a team.”
The two Group E contenders face off at 12 p.m. USEDT (4 p.m. GMT) today in Brasilia.
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