Lampard rues Ecuador leveller

05 June 2014 05:31

England could not hold on for victory against Ecuador but captain Frank Lampard insisted the ill-tempered draw in Miami acted as a worthwhile workout.

In humid conditions at Sun Life Stadium, the match that finished 2-2 served as preparation for England's World Cup opener against Italy in Manaus on June 14.

Ecuador went ahead through Enner Valencia's header after eight minutes, but England struck back through Wayne Rooney's tap-in and Rickie Lambert's fizzing drive which came after fine play by Ross Barkley.

Substitute Michael Arroyo's spectacular strike meant the match ended level but Lampard, skipper for the night in the absence of the rested Steven Gerrard, was pleased with the overall performance.

"I didn't know what to expect," he said. "We wanted to try and play at a competitive level.

"This was our first proper game in these conditions. We trained yesterday but you can't compare that to a match.

"They gave a lot to the game. I think we maybe tired towards the back end of it but there was a lot of good stuff before that.

"We started the game brilliantly and it was really upsetting actually to go 1-0 down because we could have been one or two up by then.

"But we carried that on in the first half and some of our forward play, like balls flashing across the box, looked really sharp.

"Then, when you have gone 2-1 ahead, it was a bit disappointing that we didn't see it out and win the game."

The main negatives for England, though, were the knee injury sustained by Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Raheem Sterling's sending-off.

Having been caught by Liverpool winger Sterling's mistimed tackle, Antonio Valencia jumped to his feet and grabbed him by the throat, before the pair were split up and sent off.

Asked if it was a harsh decision on Sterling, Lampard said: "Yeah, I think so. It is a bit of shame, especially in a friendly game.

"There was no real need, really. It's disappointing for Raheem because he's come on and is trying to do the right thing, tracking back to make a tackle, and that's what happened."

Source: PA

World Cup Group G

Belgium 1 0 0 3 3
England 1 0 0 1 3
Tunisa 0 0 1 -1 0
Panama 0 0 1 -3 0
Last updated : 16:17