Ecuador vs. England: Final score 2-2, Three Lions held in eventful clash

Richard Heathcote

Roy Hodgson's unusual England lineup looked exciting going forward, but they were a shambles at the back. Michael Arroyo equalised after the Three Lions had fought back from a goal behind, while Raheem Sterling and Antonio Valencia were both sent off.

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A strange-looking England side were held against Ecuador in Miami, Florida, after initially coming from behind.

Enner Valencia put Ecuador ahead with a bullet header early on, before Wayne Rooney equalised and Rickie Lambert put the Three Lions ahead in the second half. But Michael Arroyo scored a magnificent equaliser before Antonio Valencia and Raheem Sterling were both sent off late on.

England started very brightly, befitting the mostly youthful look to the lineup. They soon fell behind to a sucker-punch as Ecuador scored early in a move that will do little to encourage England's second-choice defenders. Walter Ayovi got the better of James Milner to send in a cross from the left that Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw both failed to deal with, and Enner Valencia rose to power home a header from close range.

England could have found themselves two behind soon after, as hesitation from Ben Foster coming off his line almost led to a calamity at the back, but the former Manchester United man recovered in time to save the eventual shot when it came along and keep the deficit to one goal.

England were looking much better at the other end, however, and fine runs from Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain almost led to an equaliser, the latter weaving along the byline but seeing his cut-back cut out. England weren't waiting long for their goal, although it was considerably scrappier when it came with Rooney bundling over the line after an apparent handball by Lambert and a deflection off the post to go in level at one as half-time approached.

Just a few minutes into the second half, England got themselves ahead, as two parts of Hodgson's experiment combined to score. A fine run from Barkley saw him unselfishly tee up Lambert, and the new Liverpool signing drilled the ball home from a tight angle to make it 2-1. A similar goal almost followed, this time Oxlade-Chamberlain providing the ammunition for Lambert, but at the second time of asking the big striker saw his shot tipped away.

An unfortunate incident then occurred for Chamberlain, who suffered the wrath of Carlos Gruezo after a coming-together and going to ground injured. He ending up replaced by Jon Flanagan, who came on for his debut..

England were still looking a danger to themselves at the back however, and after getting away with one as Enner Valencia was only just denied by Phil Jones, a wondergoal saw Ecuador draw level. Michael Arroyo was given space to shoot outside the area and took full advantage, lashing a thunderbolt past Ben Foster to draw Ecuador level.

A bizarre moment than took place as Raheem Sterling carried out a poor tackle on Antonio Valencia and the Manchester United winger reacted angrily, with the referee choosing to send both players off to leave both teams with ten men for the final few minutes.

With the flurry of substitutions and the two sending off however, the rest of the game was a tame affair with no further real chances at either end. Hodgson's experiments will be good and bad; Barkley can provide unpredictability and Lambert is a very good finisher, but England had better hope their first-choice defenders get through the tournament unscathed.

Ecuador: Banguera; Paredes, Guagua, Erazo, Ayovi; A. Valencia (Sent Off 79'), Noboa (Mendez 50'), Gruezo, Montero (Arroyo 68'); E. Valencia (Ibarra 83'), Caicedo (Rojas 58').

Goals: E. Valencia (8'), Arroyo (70')

England: Foster; Milner, Smalling, Jones, Shaw (Stones 74'); Lampard, Wilshere (Lallana 87'); Oxlade-Chamberlain (Flanagan 63'), Barkley (Henderson 84'), Rooney (Sterling 64' - Sent Off 79'); Lambert (Welbeck 84').

Goals: Rooney (29'), Lambert (51')

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