Ecuador scored three second half goals to send England to their first defeat since late 2005.
Under-21 International Friendly
8pm (GMT), Tuesday 10 February 2009
La Rosaleda, Málaga CF
Live on Setanta Sports
Ecuador scored three second half goals to send Stuart Pearce's Under-21 side to their first defeat in just over three years.
Adam Johnson and Fraizer Campbell scored twice before the break, but two goals in as many minutes from Joffre Guerrón and Pablo Palacios dragged the South Americans back into the game and a late goal from Felipe Caicedo sealed the victory.
Stuart Pearce's young side acquitted themselves very well during the first half against a side featuring six players who featured for England's group opponents at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
But despite being two goals down at the break the South Americans' experience came through as they edged an interesting match - the first reversal for the Under-21s since November 2005.
With the encounter playing a big part in England's preparation for the summer's UEFA European Under-21 Championship, Pearce looked to try something different.
Michael Mancienne was given a role in the centre of a three-man midfield, while captain Steven Taylor started on the right side of defence as Richard Stearman partnered Micah Richards in the middle.
Ecuador had the first opening of the game after the linesman waved for a foul on Joffre Guerron by Richard Stearman, which lead to an early free-kick in a dangerous position on England's left.
Walter Ayovi's attempt had Tom Heaton stretching low to his left, but the ball cannoned off the post and away.
But with just 14 minutes played, it was England who went in front. Middlesbrough winger Johnson was quick to latch onto a mistake in the Ecuador defence to go through into the area on his own.
As Neicer Reasco charged in, he showed composure to lift the ball over the defender's head, similar to Gazza at Euro 96, before lashing with his right into the top corner beyond Jose Cavallos.
Ecuador showed touches of flair as they looked to get a foothold in the game. Pablo Palacios failed to get on the end of a deflected through ball in the England area, then a 20 yard shot from his right boot was blocked by Richard Stearman, featuring at the heart of a new-look back four.
Ayovi then had another shot from distance, which was stopped inside the England box by his team mate, Everton midfielder Segundo Castillo. He should really have done better with his strike on the turn, but it was weak and easy for Heaton.
Pearce's men weren't without their own moments, and two free-kicks, from Michael Kightly and Johnson, almost bore fruit, but the score remained 1-0.
However, that wasn't the case for long. With an Ecuador attack going nowhere, Tom Huddlestone set Kightly free into the opposition half with a ball from deep.
The Wolves winger spotted Campbell joining the attack and clipped the ball inside where the Spurs striker met it first time to direct it inside the Ecuador post.
A change at half-time gave Jack Cork an opportunity in the midfield holding role, with Mancienne dropping back into the defensive spot vacated by Micah Ricards.
But an even bigger change was to follow eight minutes into the second half as two quick-fire goal pulled Ecuador level.
Castillo knocked a well-placed pass in behind left-back Joe Mattock, giving Guerron something to attack.
The Getafe forward carried the ball into the area and fired low and hard past Heaton to give them hope.
Then a minute later, a pass through the middle towards Palacios beat the offside trap and he converted his one-on-one with aplomb.
England were now playing on the counter-attack with Ecuador enjoying more possession. When they did get forward, with Johnson the main instigator, The Three Lions looked a threat, but he was often without sufficient support.
It could have been worse for England just after the hour mark as Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo worked his way into the area before wriggling free from Stearman.
His shot from 12 yards was destined for the back of the net, until Heaton reached out to claw the ball to safety.
Heaton then had to deal with a long, almost audacious, free-kick 35 yards out. Ayovi's effort was swerving and looked good, but the Cardiff City stopper palmed over.
Ecuador's comeback was complete with just eight minutes left. Caicedo turned well inside the area to evade Stearman and fire past Heaton.
The Three Lions were unlucky not to grab a late leveller, first through debutant Danny Welbeck, then when Campbell's goal - diverting Huddlestone's saved drive past Cevallos - was ruled out for offside. In the end, it was never meant to be.
1 Tom Heaton (13 Scott Loach, 88), 2 Steven Taylor (C), 3 Joe Mattock (14 Kieran Gibbs, 61), 4 Michael Mancienne, 5 Micah Richards (15 Jack Cork, 46), 6 Richard Stearman, 7 Michael Kightly (16 Craig Gardner, 61), 8 Tom Huddlestone, 9 Fraizer Campbell, 10 Lee Cattermole (12 Kyle Naughton, 76), 11 Adam Johnson (17 Danny Welbeck)
Coach Stuart Pearce
1 Jose Cevallos (C), 2 Deison Mendez, 3 Segundo Matamba (17 Geovanny Espinoza, 71), 4 Paul Ambrosi (13 Christian Noboa, 51), 7 Joffre Guerrón, 8 Edison Mendez, 10 Felipe Caicedo (5 Fernando Roberto Hidalgo, 87), 11 Pablo Palacios (9 Felix Borja, 76), 14 Segundo Alejandro Castillo, 15 Walter Ayovi, 18 Neicer Reasco
Subs not used 12 Manuel Mendoza, 6 Jefferson Montero, 16 Luis Antonio Valencia, 19 David Quiroz
Coach Sixto Vizuete
Referee Mario Melero Lopez (Spain)
Assistants Felipe Gomez Ruiz and Raul Chavet Garcia (Spain)
Fourth Official Ismael Pino Blanco (Spain)