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Ecuador sack coach Sanchez after Copa America exit

Ecuador’s football federation (FEF) has terminated the contract of head coach Felix Sanchez following their Copa America quarter-final loss to Argentina, the FEF announced.

Despite reaching the quarter-finals for the third time in the last four editions, Ecuador was eliminated by the defending champions in a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.

Sanchez, a Spaniard who led Qatar to their first Asian Cup title in 2019, had signed a four-year deal in March the previous year.

“We appreciate Felix and his coaching staff for their efforts and professionalism, and we wish him success in his future endeavors,” the FEF stated.

After the match, the 48-year-old coach expressed optimism about Ecuador’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers in September, where the team currently holds fifth place in the standings. He declined to comment on his own future.

“Despite our exit from the Copa America, we managed to progress from the group stage to the knockout rounds. I’ve congratulated the players, even though we didn’t advance,” he told reporters.

“I believe they deserve recognition. In my opinion, in the next edition of this tournament, we will arrive with a more experienced team. These are very young players. Perhaps the outcomes were unjust, but I believe in this group of players.”

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