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Ecuador's evergreen keeper Elizaga makes his point

04 July 2011 07:30

They say you have to be a little crazy to be a goalkeeper - but Ecuador's veteran shot-stopper Marcelo Elizaga drove Paraguay mad with his stellar showing in Sunday's goalless draw at Santa Fe.

Elizaga, a 39-year-old from the Argentine city of Moron, is a latecomer to the international stage having only made his debut for his adopted country at the 2007 Copa.

But Sunday saw him leaping about like a man a decade younger as he denied Edgar Barreto, Nestor Ortigoza and Roque Santa Cruz, whose header shortly after the interval had goal written all over it until Elizaga flung himself to turn the effort away.

His saves had reporters comparing him with some of the all-time greats, not least Poland's 1970s star Jan Tomaszewski - whom former Derby and Nottingham Forest manager Brian Clough once famously called a "clown" - only to see the keeper deny England a place in the World Cup finals.

Appropriately enough, Elizaga, who plays for Deportivo Quito, is nicknamed "El Polaco" - the Pole.

Others know him as El Muro - The Wall.

Source: AFP