By DAN KARELL
Germany showed off their impressive depth on Wednesday afternoon, defeating 10th ranked Ecuador, 4-2, in the first of two friendly matches in the United States.
Missing a number of starters due to Bayern Munich’s participation in the German Cup and Borussia Dortmund’s recent participation in the Champions League final with Bayern, Joachim Löw’s side proved that they could play sublime soccer even without the likes of Mario Götze, Mesut Özil, and Sami Khedira in the midfield.
Longtime forward Lukas Podolski scored two of the German goals, including one just six seconds into the match, dispossessing Ecuadorian defender Gabriel Achilier at the top of the box before scoring the opener. The two goals have given the Arsenal forward 46 career goals for Germany, just one behind United States head coach Jurgen Klinsmann.
Lars Bender scored easily with a simple finish in the 4th minute that all but ended the match, and again tallied in the 24th minute, putting the Germans up 4-0 inside the first quarter of the match.
Ecuador saved face with goals from Antonio Valencia and Walter Ayovi on either side of halftime, but they were never able to compete at Germany’s level during the match.
ENGLAND DRAW REPUBLIC OF IRELAND
On a day that was supposed to be a celebration of the FA’s 150th anniversary, England could only manage a 1-1 draw with the Republic of Ireland on Wednesday at Wembley Stadium.
The visitors were the first to find the back of the net as Seamus Coleman whipped in a curling ball that Shane Long deflected past Joe Hart for the game’s opener in the 13th minute. Just nine minutes later, England equalized due to the creativity of Daniel Sturridge, who found Frank Lampard in front of goal to tie the match up.
Wingers Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain both had chances on target that were well saved by Ireland goalkeeper David Forde, who made a total of seven saves on the Three Lions. Ashley Cole, who wore the captain’s armband on his 102nd cap, blasted over the bar from close range in the second half, ruining a great opportunity on goal.
COSTA RICA COMFORTABLY DEFEATS CANADA
A veteran Costa Rica side took care of business on Tuesday afternoon, defeating a new-look Canada side, 1-0, in Edmonton.
Jairo Arrieta scored the lone goal for Costa Rica, converting from the penalty spot in the 15th minute past the dive of Canada goalkeeper Milan Borjan, who was making just his 11th appearance with the Canucks.
15 of the 19 Canadians called into the squad had less than ten caps, and two players, Daniel Haber and Jonathan Osorio, each earned their first caps. The match ended on a sour note, with both teams going down to ten men in the 75th minute following a scuffle between Nik Legerwood and Christopher Meneses, the pair each earning red cards.