Ecuador, Dutch eye World Cup progression

Ecuador or the Netherlands can take a huge step towards the second round of the World Cup if either can force victory at the Khalifa International Stadium.

Both sides won their opening match in Qatar and they go head-to-head on Friday (3am Saturday AEDT) in a decisive Group A encounter.

But while Ecuador have set their expectations at advancing to the round of 16 - as they did in Germany in 2006 - the Dutch will be looking for a vastly improved performance to back-up coach Louis van Gaal's assertion they can go on and win the World Cup.

The Netherlands were far from their efficient best in beating African champions Senegal 2-0 in their opening group game on Monday.

Van Gaal was pleased with the three points, and vindication of his surprise decision to hand goalkeeper Andries Noppert an international debut, but did criticise the manner of the victory, as did captain Virgil van Dijk.

"We won but we also know that we can and must do better," the skipper said.

"Going forward we sometimes tried to force things, and we too often left ourselves exposed to Senegal's counter-attacks.

"That is an area in which we will need to improve because it is an art that our next opponents, Ecuador, are very good at.

"But I am optimistic because I feel we are going to get better."

Ecuador are confident Enner Valencia, who got both goals in their 2-0 win over hosts Qatar on Sunday, will be fit to play despite concern over a knee sprain.

Goalkeeper Hernan Galindez said Saudi Arabia's shock win over Argentina on Tuesday proved no team was unbeatable.

"Argentina's defeat will not be the last surprise of this World Cup," he said.

"Despite the victory of the Netherlands, they were evenly matched against Senegal. There are certainly ways to hurt the Netherlands.

"It will be a tough match, but I expect the Netherlands to approach us with respect."

The Dutch are likely to give Memphis Depay a start. The Barcelona forward came off the bench against Senegal for his first match in two months after struggling with a hamstring injury.