Thursday, May 30, 2013

Ecuador vs Germany May 29, 2013

Germany scored within 10 seconds and were four up inside 25 minutes, but their second string were ultimately unconvincing in beating Ecuador in their international friendly game in Boca Raton, Florida. Lukas Podolski and Lars Bender scored two each as a team without their Bayern Munich and Borussia Dortmund contingent received a more than helping hand from their opponents. Missing also Real Madrid pair Mesut Ozil and Sami Khedira and featuring two debutants in midfielder Sidney Sam and forward Max Kruse, this was a chance for the fringe players to impress Joachim Low. But it was hard to imagine the coach being too impressed, given how utterly awful Ecuador were in the opening half-an-hour. Indeed, Low’s men were comfortably second best after the break. Ranked 10th in the world, lying second in South American World Cup qualifying and with seven wins and two draws from their last nine games, including a 3-2 success in Portugal in February, Germany would have expected Ecuador to offer a real test. Instead it was anything but as Podolski netted within seconds and Bender added a second in the fourth minute. Two more goals later and the game was over as a contest inside 30 minutes, but Ecuador did improve, pulling one back through Antonio Valencia shortly before half-time and scoring again through Walter Ayovi late on. Straight from kick-off Ecuador played the ball back to defender Gabriel Achilier, who dallied and lost it to Podolski, the Arsenal man scoring with a smart low finish. The goal was timed at just over nine seconds, just slower than Davide Gualtieri’s goal after 8.3 seconds for San Marino against England in 1993 – the fastest goal in international football. Bender soon made it two, running through a yawning chasm of a gap in the Ecuador defence following Sam’s pass and finishing stylishly with the outside of his right foot. Podolski rifled home a third in the 17th minute after Kruse had got down the left side of the area and pulled the ball back. And Bender got his second in the 24th minute, given time to shoot on the edge of the area and firing past goalkeeper Maximo Banguera, who should have done much better. Facing a humiliation, the South Americans finally started to get their act together and Jefferson Montero curled an effort against the bar. Felipe Caicedo twisted and turned in the area to work a shooting chance only to send his effort too close to Rene Adler, who also parried a Valencia shot. But the Manchester United man did pull a goal back, volleying home a low strike after the ball sat up for him nicely in the area. Valencia went close shortly after the break, his fierce shot from a narrow angle on the right punched away by Adler. It was now Germany looking unsteady and Heiko Westermann had to produce a brilliant block to deny Joao Rojas what looked a certain goal. Ecuador got a second goal in the 84th minute when Ayovi curled a free-kick into the near post and Adler could only help the ball into the net. Pedro Quinonez blasted a shot just wide as Ecuador threatened a third, but their mad first 30 minutes had cost them. Next up for Germany is a friendly game with the United States in Washington DC on Sunday, while Ecuador will hope to be rather quicker out of the blocks when they travel to Peru for their next qualifier on June 7.


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