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Match Analysis: Ecuador 2-2 England

Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at England's entertaining 2-2 draw with Ecuador in their World Cup warm-up match this evening.

The countdown to the World Cup continued this evening as Ecuador and England played out an entertaining 2-2 draw in Miami with just eight days to go until the start of the tournament.

It was the South American side who scored first, taking the lead against the run of play after just eight minutes when Enner Valencia thumped his header past a helpless Ben Foster.

Wayne Rooney restored parity shortly before the half-hour mark after Rickie Lambert had hit the post with a back-heel, and the new Liverpool striker got his own name on the scoresheet with a crisp finish to give his side a second-half lead.

However, Ecuador hit back in style as Michael Arroyo smashed a superb effort into the top corner having only been on the pitch for a matter of minutes.

Both sides ended the evening with just 10 men on the field as Raheem Sterling and Antonio Valencia were shown straight red cards for a clash in the 79th minute.

Here, Sports Mole takes an in-depth look at an absorbing 90 minutes at the Sun Life Stadium.

Match statistics

Ecuador
Shots: 13
On target: 6
Possession: 47%
Corners: 4
Fouls: 11

England
Shots: 12
On target: 5
Possession: 53%
Corners: 8
Fouls: 5

Was the result fair?

Yes. England probably had the better of things when it comes to general play, but the stats between the two sides are very even and that is a fair representation of how things went this evening. Both sides played with an attacking mindset and looked capable of scoring throughout.

It was England who posed the biggest threat through possession and building attacks, but their propensity for making defensive errors handed Ecuador sufficient chances to warrant a share of the spoils tonight. Both teams could have scored more goals, but a draw was the fairest result.

Ecuador's performance

Having gone into this game as underdogs and with a pretty woeful away record in recent times, Ecuador can be very pleased with their performance this evening. They looked threatening when going forward and showed that they have the players and ability to hurt teams if they are given space.

Defensively there will be a number of worries for manager Reinaldo Rueda as there were a few errors that led to decent England chances, particularly in the opening exchanges. However, they showed good character to come from behind and earn a draw having already blown a lead of their own.

With a relatively kind draw in the World Cup group stages, Ecuador will be confident of progressing if they can match that sort of performance throughout their three matches. They will certainly go into the tournament in better shape now than they would have after the 3-1 defeat to Mexico last time out.

England's performance

Very much a mixed bag for England. Offensively, their performance was a lot more dynamic and exciting than it was against Peru, but the same problems with the defence were evident. Roy Hodgson's side made far too many errors at the back, and that is something that the better teams will take full advantage of.

They also gave the ball away far too often, which they can't afford to do in the stifling heat of Manaus on June 14. The likes of Ross Barkley and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain were guilty of this on a number of occasions, but they also provided a freshness to the England side that was severely lacking against Peru.

All in all, England are still very much a work in progress and there is plenty of room for improvement. However, considering the experimental nature of tonight's team, it was an improved performance from the Peru win despite the result not being as satisfactory.

Sports Mole's man of the match

Ross Barkley: This award was between Barkley and Oxlade-Chamberlain tonight as both players ran positively with the ball and looked to make things happen for England. With some exciting youngsters in the fold for the World Cup, the Three Lions need the likes of Barkley to play without fear, and that is exactly what he did on his first start for his country tonight.

The Everton man's biggest contribution came with a superb run from midfield that eventually saw him tee up Rickie Lambert for England's second goal. It was one of a number of driving runs from the youngster and, although his decision-making and ball retention could have been better on a couple of occasions, it was a breath of fresh air to see such positive play from an England man.

Biggest gaffe

There were a number of defensive errors for both sides, including some poor marking from England for the opening goal, but the gaffe of the game has to go to the referee tonight. It is fairly rare to see a yellow card in a friendly, so for him to flash two reds was a very rash decision.

In fairness, Antonio Valencia deserved to be sent off as he jumped up and grabbed Sterling around the throat. However, the Liverpool man did nothing more than go into a challenge strongly - winning the ball - and so can feel justifiably aggrieved by a poor decision from the ref.

Referee performance

Aside from the above incident, Jair Marrufo had a quiet game in the middle tonight. The match was mostly played in the right spirit, with the Valencia and Sterling clash the only time tempers got heated. There were question marks over Rooney's goal as he looked to be offside and Lambert may have controlled it with his hand, but it all happened very quickly in a crowded box.

What next?

Ecuador: Next stop, Brazil! Tonight was Ecuador's final warm-up match before they get their World Cup campaign underway against Switzerland on June 15.

England: England, meanwhile, have one more warm-up match to play as Honduras provide the opponents on Saturday. After that, Italy await them in Group D on June 14.

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Enner Valencia of Ecuador turns to celebrate after scoring the first goal as Ben Foster of England reacts during the International friendly match between England and Ecuador at Sun Life Stadium on June 4, 2014
Read Next:
Result: England, Ecuador share 10-a-side draw
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
2Liverpool34267177205785
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs342211164352967
4Arsenal33206766402666
5Chelsea34206857362166
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd33197763441964
7Watford34147134949049
8Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
9Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
10Everton34137144644246
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Bournemouth35125184962-1341
13Crystal Palace34116174046-639
14Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35109163243-1139
15Burnley34116174260-1839
16Southampton34910153954-1537
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3497183253-2134
18Cardiff CityCardiff3494213063-3331
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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