Stuart Pearce's England Under-21s threw away a two-goal lead against an experienced Ecuador side in Malaga last night and lost their lengthy unbeaten record. Adam Johnson and Fraizer Campbell struck stunning first-half goals but Pearce's youngsters were then pegged back when Ecuador struck twice in quick succession just before the hour. Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo hit the winner with eight minutes remaining.
Only Richard Stearman, Michael Kightly and Campbell remained for England from the starting XI that defeated Czech Republic last time out. They were facing an Ecuador team who included senior players in their squad, as well as Under-23s.
Johnson opened the scoring in the 14th minute. The Middlesbrough winger took advantage of a Segundo Castillo mistake by flicking the ball over the midfielder, then surging into the box and doing the same to Deison Mendez. He then lashed a right-footed volley past Jose Cevallos in the Ecuador goal.
Campbell put England 2-0 ahead in the 42nd minute. Tom Huddlestone lofted a ball over the defence, Kightly shifted the ball from left to right and Campbell finished first time.
Soon after the break, however, Ecuador were back on level terms with two goals in as many minutes. The first came in the 53rd minute from Joffre Guerron before Pablo Palacios raced beyond England's defence and finished calmly. Caicedo's moment came with eight minutes remaining, and he made no mistake.
England Under-21: Heaton (Loach, 88); Taylor, Mattock (Gibbs, 63), Mancienne, Richards (Cork, h-t) Stearman, Kightly (Gardner, 62), Huddlestone, Campbell, Cattermole (Welbeck, 77), Johnson (Naughton, 77).
Ecuador: Cevallos; Mendez, Matamba (Espinoza, 62), Ambrosi (Noboa, 51), Guerrón, Mendez, Caicedo (Hidalgo, 88), Palacios (Borja, 76), Castillo, Ayovi, Reasco.
Referee: M Lopez (Spain).Reuse content