Mendez thinks Swiss defeat galvanised Ecuador
The South American side lost 2-1 to Switzerland in their opening game in Brasilia, when Haris Seferovic scored the winner in the third minute of second-half stoppage time.
Ecuador bounced back with a 2-1 victoryof their own on Friday, though, defeating Honduras in Curitiba thanks to two Enner Valencia goals, taking the Pachuca forward's tournament tally to three.
Despite suffering the defeat, Mendez believes the loss to Switzerland helped Ecuador as they target a place in the knockout phase heading into their final Group E match against France on Wednesday.
"Sometimes, losing is winning," he told reporters. "The team responded well after the defeat to Switzerland and we know what needs to be done for the remaining matches in the tournament.
"The team is doing as much as possible."
The 35-year-old is one of only two players in the current squad who travelled to the 2002 World Cup, with Walter Ayovi being the other, and he is confident that their present team is more comfortable playing on the elite stage.
"It's a young group in general, but with athletes who play in different countries with good careers," he added.
"In 2002, we had a team that did not know World Cups (in terms of experience).
"Then we had a team with (only) several top players. Now we have a more experienced team, which played a great match and is eager."