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England 2 Ecuador 2: Raheem Sterling lights friendly fire under Florida sun

England's penultimate World Cup warm-up ended in an ill-tempered draw against Ecuador, with Liverpool's Raheem Sterling and Manchester United's Antonio Valencia both sent off in Miami.

Paul Hirst
Paul Hirst

With just 10 days until their tournament opener against Italy, Roy Hodgson's men fought out a 2-2 draw with the South Americans in front of 21,534 - just 29% of the Sun Life Stadium's capacity.

In warm, humid conditions, Ecuador drew first blood as Enner Valencia made the most of poor defending from Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw to head home.

Wayne Rooney, impressing in an unfavoured left-side role, levelled with a close-range finish before Roy Hodgson's side took the lead as fine play from Ross Barkley allowed Rickie Lambert to lash home. However, England's failure to close Michael Arroyo down brought Ecuador level - a fine goal that was somewhat overshadowed by the red cards handed out to Sterling and Valencia.

The main talking point before the match was not the names on the team sheet, but the way they were presented. In an astonishing security breach, the lists handed to the media at Sun Life Stadium included the passport numbers of every player in the England and Ecuador squads.

It was hardly the ideal preparation yet Hodgson's men began brightly, with Wayne Rooney outmuscled in the opening minute before Jack Wilshere was thwarted after being put through by Barkley.

It was a dominant start and one which meant few could have predicted Ecuador opening the scoring. James Milner's failure to clear ended with the ball sent into the box where Enner Valencia rose over Shaw to power a header home. It was a sucker-punch, but one which England responded to well.

Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain's cross into the box was caught between goalkeeper Banguera and Lambert, whose backheel came off the post and the Manchester United forward converted from close range.

England continued to look lively when play resumed after half-time and they took just six minutes for to take the lead, thanks in no small part to the outstanding skill of Barkley. The Everton playmaker nutmegged two players and jinked past several others in a wonderful solo run which ended in the ball being played out to Lambert, whose first-time strike beat Banguera. Ben Foster was a match for a hopeful Antonio Valencia strike in a rare Ecuador attack as England continued to threaten. Oxlade-Chamberlain, though, left with a groin injury which will worry Hodgson.

Shortly after, Milner and Wilshere allowed Arroyo time to shift the ball and thump a fantastic strike into the top-right hand corner. It was a wonderful goal and one which was soon overshadowed by ugly scenes which led referee Jair Marrufo to send off players from both teams.

Having been caught by Sterling's mistimed tackle, Antonio Valencia jumped to his feet and grabbed the winger by the throat before the pair were split up. An onfield melee ensued before both players were sent off, with Wilshere fortunate not to join them for his role in the aftermath. The Arsenal midfielder did leave the field soon after with a knock - the last moment of note in a match which petered out in the Florida heat.

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