An experimental England side were held to a 2-2 draw by Ecuador, both sides were reduced to 10 men in an incident-packed World Cup warm-up match on Wednesday.
Ecuador, who had won only two of their previous 13 matches, looked lively in the opening exchanges and took the lead when Enner Valencia got above Chris Smalling to head home after a fine left-wing cross by Walter Ayovi.
Rooney, who kept drifting into the middle from an unfamiliar role on the left, brought England level after 29 minutes when he fired into the net after Lambert, who appeared to have first handled the ball, saw his cheeky back-heel rebound off the post.
Rickie Lambert put England 2-1 in front after 52 minutes following a mazy run by Ross Barkley.
Miguel Arroyo who came for Jefferson Montero in the 68th minute did not take long before unleashing a fierce right-foot drive from 20 meters in the 70th minute that gave goalkeeper Ben Foster no chance..
But tempers frayed nine minutes later when England’s Raheem Sterling, who replaced Wayne Rooney just past the hour flew into a tackle on Ecuador’s captain Antonio Valencia, who retaliated by grabbing Sterling around the neck, both players were sent off.
“It (Sterling’s red card) was harsh. It was a rash tackle but I thought Raheem was unlucky because of the way Valencia reacted like he did,” England coach Roy Hodgson told reporters.
“I’m disappointed that a senior player like Antonio reacted in that way, but Raheem will learn from that.”
Roy Hodgson had concerns over Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, who suffered a knee injury during the game and is set to go in for a scan on Thursday. Hogdson suspects ligament damage.
Rooney, the only England player retained from the 3-0 win over Peru on Friday, had equalized from close range just before the half-hour after Ecuador had taken an eighth-minute lead via Enner Valencia’s header.
“It was a very young lineup and there was almost a complete 11 players rested from the previous match,” added Hodgson. “But I thought we acquitted ourselves quite brilliantly and played some very good football at times.”
Both teams made wholesale changes to their line up with Hodgson casting his eye over an experimental 11 while Ecuador’s Reinaldo Rueda made five alterations from the team that lost 3-1 to Mexico on Saturday.
Both World Cup finalists made multiple substitutions ensuring most players got some match time.
A lean-looking Rooney, who despite scoring his 39th goal for England never really stamped his authority on the match, was withdrawn after 64 minutes and replaced by Sterling.
England, who face Italy, Uruguay and Costa Rica in World Cup Group D, will play a final warm-up game against Honduras in Miami on Saturday before leaving for Rio de Janeiro.
Ecuador return …continued »