Ecuador Wrap: Emelec win to retain top spot

Champions Emelec remain in control in Ecuador's Primera A after beating LDU Loja 2-1, while Barcelona continued their revival.

Emelec have two games in hand on all bar two teams, and remain top of the table with 19 points after their victory over Loja.

The home side opened the scoring in Loja on Saturday with captain Pedro Larrea finding Jonny Uchuari in the right channel and the 20-year-old attacker's shot looped into the net after deflecting off an Emelec defender.

Emelec responded early in the second half, however, with Luis Miguel Escalada notching a brace in the space of four minutes.

Escalada drove the ball into the net from the edge of the area just three minutes after half-time and then finished sharply on the turn in the 52nd minute to put Emelec in front.

The visitors held on through the rest of the match to win their fourth consecutive game in the Primera A.

Emelec moved to 19 points, one ahead of second-placed Independiente del Valle, who have played nine matches, two more than the 2013 champions.

Independiente defeated El Nacional 4-2 on Saturday to move three points ahead of third-placed Loja.

On Sunday, Barcelona notched just their second win in seven games with a 2-1 triumph over bottom club Deportivo Cuenca.

Cuenca, who have yet to win this season, scored first at the Estadio Monumental Isidro Romero Carbo in Guayaquil with Ronaldo Johnson heading into the net from close range in the 14th minute.

The visitors held onto their lead until the 83rd minute when Barcelona defender Luis Checa converted from a tight angle following a corner.

Barcelona completed a dramatic comeback in the fifth minute of stoppage time with Stalin Motta earning a penalty right on the edge of the box before captain Matias Oyola slammed his spot kick into the top corner.

The win made it six points in three games for Barcelona and the Guayaquil-based club moved up to seventh with 11 points overall.

In the other game on Sunday, Mushuc Runa trumped Deportivo Quito 1-0, while on Saturday, Universidad Catolica won 2-0 at LDU Quito and Manta drew 1-1 with Olmedo.