England’s 2-2 World Cup warm-up draw with Ecuador last night was overshadowed by feared knee ligament damage for Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and the sending off of Raheem Sterling.
Roy Hodgson fielded an experimental line-up and the makeshift defence was exposed as early as the eighth minute when Ecuador took a surprise lead as Enner Valencia beat Chris Smalling and Luke Shaw to Walter Ayovi’s cross and headed past Ben Foster.
Wayne Rooney and Rickie Lambert put England ahead but Oxlade-Chamberlain was then taken off after he over-extended his knee in a challenge with Carlos Gruezo. The Arsenal winger will have a scan today to establish the seriousness of the injury.
“Oxlade-Chamberlain is the one that bothers. His knee buckled under the challenge as the player turned into him,” Hodgson said last night. “He’ll have a scan tomorrow, I’d imagine. When we’ve had the scan, we’ll know more.”
Hodgson was also critical of the red card shown to Sterling following a rash tackle on Antonio Valencia, who was also sent off for grabbing the Liverpool winger by the throat.
“I’m disappointed. I thought it was a fierce challenge from young Raheem, not a foul challenge,” said the England manager. “He played the ball and accelerated into the ball.
“I’m disappointed with Antonio’s reaction, grabbing the player. Had he not jumped up there wouldn’t have been a problem but, when he does that, the referee had to deal with that and sent Raheem off. I’m pleased Raheem didn’t react to a lot of people milling around him.”
Rooney’s equaliser was opportunistic, as he latched on to a rebound off the post, but there was nothing fortunate about Lambert’s thumping strike early in the second half.
That goal was bettered in the 70th minute, however, by Michael Arroyo who equalised with a powerful drive.
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