International friendly: Germany 4 Ecuador 2
By Football News
Germany made it nine games unbeaten with a comfortable 4-2 victory against Ecuador at the FAU Football Stadium, Florida, on Wednesday.
Ecuador were themselves on a fine run of form, having gone nine games without defeat, their last loss coming almost a year ago against Argentina on June 2. But they were completely outclassed by a highly dominant German side, with Lukas Podolski particularly impressive in a central striking role.
Podolski and Lars Bender grabbed two goals each in the first half-half, with the former scoring immediately from the kick-off.
Antonio Valencia pulled one back for Ecuador before half-time when he wrong footed Rene Adler from inside the penalty area, before Jaime Ayovi headed a free-kick home at the near post in the 84th minute.
Germany named a side without any players from Bayern Munich or Borussia Dortmund, and handed a debut to Freiburg's Max Kruse and Sidney Sam of Bayer Leverkusen.
Ecuador included Manchester United's Antonio Valencia in their starting line-up, as well as former Premier League players Christian Benitez and Felipe Caicedo.
The game started in the best possible way for Joachim Low's side, when Podolski stole the ball on the edge of the area and fired hard from the left-hand side of the box beyond Maximo Banguera, with the goal reported to be at just nine seconds. And they doubled their advantage in the fourth minute when Podolski played a tremendous through-ball into the path of Lars Bender, who toe poked beyond Banguera.
With Ecuador reeling Germany pressed hard to find a third, and it arrived through Podolski's second goal of the game. A wonderful move was finished when Kruse's cut-back was swept home by Podolski to the bottom right-hand corner to make it 3-0 after just 17 minutes.
Bender then grabbed his second goal of the game, the ball was laid into his path 20-yards out, and his tame effort squirmed past Bangeura who did not get a strong enough hand on the effort. He shook his head as he should have kept out the shot.
With the game effectively over as a contest, Ecuador started to show more attacking intent with Jefferson Montero hitting the crossbar. Christian Benitez and Felipe Caicedo both went close, before Valencia finally pulled one back when he slotted home a loose ball from just inside the area to beat Adler.
Both teams traded efforts at the beginning of the second-half as first Valencia's near-post strike was saved capably by Adler, before Julian Draxler blasted over the bar at the other end.
Montero twice went close in the 58th and 59th minute, first cutting inside before blasting a swerving shot way wide of the post, then forcing an agile stop by Adler.
Heiko Westermaan should have opened up a four goal gap once more, but despite being unmarked he headed Lukas Podolski's corner over the crossbar.
Ecuador forced another good save from Adler, when a ferocious drive from substitute Renato Ibarra was tipped over by the Hamburg goalkeeper.
Ayovi added a bit of gloss to the scoreline for Ecuador, when he managed to head home at the near post from a right-hand free-kick in the 84th minute. Adler got a hand to the effort but could not keep it out.
Ecuador pushed on to try and gain more goals, but Germany held firm to hold out for victory. They go on to play the United States in a friendly on Sunday.