GELSENKIRCHEN, Germany — Agustin Delgado and Ecuador proved they are World Cup worthy far away from the comforts — and high altitude — of home.

Delgado set up a first-half goal and added his own score in the 80th minute to quiet the boisterous pro-Poland crowd with a 2-0 victory Friday night in the World Cup opener for both teams.

Their credentials questioned because seven of their eight qualifying wins came more than 9,000 feet above sea level at their home stadium in Quito, the Ecuadoreans got off to strong start near sea level in their second World Cup appearance.

Ecuador did a good job protecting a 1-0 lead provided by Carlos Tenorio's goal in the 24th minute. Captain Ivan Hurtado and Neicer Reasco helped thwart the few chances the Poles got, although Poland hit the goalpost twice in the final minutes.

Delgado put the game away in the 80th. Edison Mendez slid a pass to Ivan Kaviedes, who beat an offside trap and fed Delgado alone in the front of the net for the easy score.

Starting the game with Maciej Zurawski as the lone striker, Poland didn't test goalkeeper Cristian Mora until the dying moments. Even the substitution of a second forward, Ireneusz Jelen, in the 68th minute, didn't help the Poles, who didn't have a shot on goal until the 84th minute.

Ecuador is tied with Germany atop Group A. The hosts beat Costa Rica 4-2 earlier Friday. Ecuador, which lost its first two games on its way to first-round elimination in its World Cup debut four years ago, plays Costa Rica on Thursday.

Thousands of Polish fans made the trip to Germany, where the team won the 1972 Olympic gold medal and finished third in the 1974 World Cup. They draped the stadium in a sea of red and white, making it feel more like Warsaw than Gelsenkirchen.

But this was another disappointing start to a World Cup for the Poles, who lost 2-0 to co-host South Korea in the opener in 2002. They were eliminated in the first round despite a win over the United States.

With a matchup against host Germany — a team it has never beat in 14 tries — coming Wednesday, Poland needs to sharpen up quickly or could become a first-round casualty again.

Poland controlled the play early, fueled by a partisan crowd chanting "Poland! Poland" throughout. But the Poles squandered a few promising free-kick opportunities and weren't able to test Mora, playing with Ecuadorean flags painted on each cheek.

Ecuador silenced the earsplitting noise in the semi-enclosed stadium with a nifty goal off a throw-in in the 24th minute.

Ulises de la Cruz threw the ball into the box from the left sideline and Delgado flicked it backward to the middle to an onrushing Tenorio, who headed it past Artur Boruc.

Delgado and Tenorio nearly hooked up again a few minutes later, when Tenorio tiptoed along the end line before setting up Delgado in front of the net. Delgado's shot, however, went high.

The Polish fans, who appeared to be on good behavior despite fears of hooliganism, began singing and cheering when their team walked out onto the field about two hours before the game.

With a much longer distance for their fans to travel, Ecuador didn't have nearly the support in Germany, with most of its fans in one corner of the stands. But President Alfredo Palacio gave everyone back home a half-day off to watch the game.

They had to like what they saw.