No Friendlies Here: Ecuador and England End in 2-2 Draw
By Vincent Paul Hidalgo | June 5, 2014 2:55 PM EST
A friendly match in preparation of the World Cup became feisty in the late goings.
Ecuador and England tallied a 2-2 draw in a colorful World Cup warm-up Wednesday. The matched was highlighted by Wayne Rooney ending his four-game international drought as both sides ended with just ten men following a scuffle in the 79th minute of the game.
The scuffle was triggered late in the game when Rasheem Sterling was dismissed for a sliding challenge on Ecuador winger Antonio Valencia. Valencia did not take the physical contact lightly and was also given a red card when he pushed the Englishman and even tried to grab his throat.
"I was pleased that Raheem despite the situation didn't react," England coach Roy Hodgson said.
Foxsports.com reports that England chose to stay in Miami for its humidity in its preparation for the World Cup but the team was welcomed by another cool day and occasional precipitations. The game turned out to be some sort of experimentation for England as it sat out many regulars including team captain Steven Gerrard, as coach Hodgson is testing the strength of his bench play.
During the game, the coach admitted that his great concern was on the defensive side especially with Enner Valencia heading Ecuador in front in the 8th minute at the Miami Gardens. Rooney though leveled the score in the 29th by putting the ball across the line. Ricki Lambert responded with a goal six minutes into the second half with the help of the stellar play of Ross Barkley who weaved his way through the defense with not much opposition, again putting Ecuador in front 2-1.
From that point on, the two World Cup hopefuls fought to a tee until the major scuffle happened. After both teams settled down, the Brazil-bound competitors both settled for a draw as Michael Arroyo powered the equaliser from distance in the 70th.
England still has just one other friendly left in its schedule before facing Italy in its World Cup Opener. Their next warm-up game is against Honduras on Saturday.
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