Comment and Analysis @PeteFraser_
England 2 Ecuador 2: Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain a star & scare, Wayne Rooney scores & Raheem Sterling sees red
With four goals and two red cards, England’s World Cup warm-up international against Ecuador provided plenty of talking points. It was inevitably a bit disjointed from a starting line-up containing 10 changes and Peter Fraser analyses the lively friendly in Miami
Last Updated: 07/06/14 9:29pm
Starting in place of Joe Hart, Foster’s first real touch of the ball was to pick it out of the back of the net. The goalkeeper stood no chance at saving Enner Valencia’s powerful eighth-minute header, the first goal England had conceded in three hours and 59 minutes, or Michael Arroyo’s 70th-minute long-ranger. Elsewhere, Foster was at times a little too keen to charge off his line.
Milner was making his 23rd appearance of Roy Hodgson’s England era, more than any other player in that time, but he did not look comfortable at right-back before later being pushed in to midfield when Jon Flanagan came on. Milner was not to blame for allowing Walter Ayovi to cross for Ecuador’s goal after being outnumbered down the flank but he was otherwise sloppy in possession and, along with Jack Wilshere, did not close down for Arroyo’s goal.
Taken out by the quality of Ayovi’s cross for the opening goal, Smalling went on to have a bit of a rough outing against Ecuador’s regular long balls. One incident in the first half saw the Manchester United defender allow a hoof up field to bounce and forced one of Foster’s unconvincing darts from his goalline.
Alongside Smalling at centre-back, Jones looked a little nervy in the opening stages and the lack of dovetailing with his club-mate was a surprise. However, Jones improved in the second half and one diving header to clear the ball at the near post saved England from some serious danger.
Shaw perhaps demonstrated his inexperience at international level in Ecuador’s first goal when not getting around on the cover to unsettle Enner Valencia before his header. But the youngster otherwise did well and showed good strength in a second-half challenge with Antonio Valencia. Shaw was substituted in the second half to be replaced by John Stones.
The captain and veteran in England’s ranks, Lampard understandably allowed the younger legs around him to do much of the running. Lampard was the defensive shield in front of Hodgson’s back four but at times he was slightly overrun by the pace of Ecuador. One first half 25-yarder, which had to be tipped over the crossbar, brought the memories flooding back of the outgoing Chelsea midfielder.
Making his first start for club or country since suffering injury in March’s friendly against Denmark, Arsenal’s Wilshere did look a little rusty and spent most of his time on the deck before hobbling off in the later stages. He was also at fault for standing off Arroyo for the Ecuadorian’s powerful equaliser.
Oxlade-Chamberlain's substitution due to a feared knee ligament injury in the second half could rule the midfielder out of the World Cup and it could be very bad news for England.The Arsenal man dribbled past an opponent seven times, more than any England international since 2008, from the left of the three in advanced midfield and caused Ecuador plenty of problems. Oxlade-Chamberlain was, however, guilty of not getting back to prevent Milner from being outnumbered for the cross which led to Ecuador’s first goal.
Like Oxlade-Chamberlain, Barkley was the bright spark for England. His trickery with the ball at his feet and willingness to carry attacks towards Ecuador proved a constant menace. A lovely back-heel to Rooney in an attack in the first half was followed by setting up Rickie Lambert’s goal in the second half.
All eyes were on Rooney when starting on the left for England and he did seem to want to cut in to the centre, which left the team with a lack of width on that flank. But the Manchester United man did end his 365-minute international goal drought with a first-half equaliser. Rooney was substituted for Raheem Sterling in the second half but is now only 10 goals behind Sir Booby Charlton’s all-time record for England.
Liverpool’s new striker, Lambert, looked to be out on his feet at half-time after spending 45 minutes mostly chasing lost causes. However, he showed his ability in the second half with a skilled finish for his goal with the outside of his right boot. Lambert now has three goals and two assists in his five appearances for England.
Sterling became the first player since Trevor Cherry versus Argentina in June 1977 to be sent off for England in a friendly after a clash with Antonio Valencia. The Liverpool youngster was perhaps unfortunate but his challenge was also reckless in international football. Meanwhile, Jon Flanagan came on for his debut and John Stones was given extra experience. Jordan Henderson, Danny Welbeck and Adam Lallana made late run outs.