Comeback England, losses for Germany and Holland
SWITZERLAND ● Jermain Defoe came off the bench to smash a magnificent winner as England exacted revenge on Italy for their Euro 2012 exit with a 2-1 win in Switzerland.
Roy Hodgson’s men were knocked out of the Euros on penalties by the Azzurri but a new-look line-up that included only Ashley Young from the side that lost in the quarter-finals in Kiev ensured England remain unbeaten under the former Liverpool boss in open play.
Italy had the better of the opening exchanges and were rewarded when Daniele De Rossi gave them the lead after heading in Alessandro Diamanti’s corner. England did not have to wait too long to get back on level terms, however, Phil Jagielka thumping his diving header past goalkeeper Salvatore Sirigu.
Butland’s historic debut
- Jack Butland became England’s youngest goalkeeper at 19 years and 158 days, beating the record of Billy Moon, who was 19 and 222 days when he played against Wales at Crewe in February 1888.
There were worrying signs for England as Ryan Bertrand was forced to clear off the line but, after Federico Peluso deflected the ball onto his own post, Defoe – on for Andy Carroll – found space on the edge of the area and rifled into the top corner 12 minutes from time.
Germany had goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler sent off after half an hour as they crashed to a 3-1 friendly defeat to Argentina in Frankfurt.
Zieler was dismissed for a foul on Jose Sosa and, although replacement Marc ter Stegen saved Lionel Messi’s resulting penalty, the visitors did not take long to seize the lead.
Sami Khedira put through an own goal in first-half injury time to set Argentina on their way and further second-half goals from Messi and Angel di Maria sealed the win before Benedikt Howedes’ late consolation.
Holland continued their poor form heading out of a disappointing Euro 2012 as they fell 4-2 at neighbours Belgium.
Luciano Narsingh and Klaas Jan Huntelaar had cancelled out Christian Benteke’s early opener for the home side, but further goals from Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Jan Vertonghen gave the Belgians an excellent win.
There were no such concerns for Brazil, who beat Sweden 3-0 in Solna with the first from Leandro Damiao on 32 minutes and a brace in the final six minutes from Alexandre Pato.
Croatia were stunned 4-2 by Switzerland in Split, with Mario Gavranovic’s double helping the Swiss to victory, while Russia were held 1-1 in Moscow by the Ivory Coast, Alan Dzagoev’s opener cancelled out late by Mark Gradel.
France were held to a goalless draw by Uruguay in Le Havre, as were Serbia by the Republic of Ireland in Belgrade.
Konstantin Vassiljev’s injury-time goal gave Estonia a 1-0 home win over disappointing Euro 2012 co-hosts Poland.
Jordan Rhodes needed just 29 minutes to net on his debut as Scotland came from behind to beat Australia 3-1 in Edinburgh, while Greece eased to an impressive 3-2 win over Norway in Oslo.
Two goals in four minutes before the break set Spain on course for a 2-1 win over Puerto Rico.
New Arsenal signing Santi Cazorla fired in the first from the edge of the area, and ex-Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas got the second moments later on the stroke of half-time. Marc Cintron pulled one back for the hosts in the 65th minute.
Nelson Oliveira and Cristiano Ronaldo got the goals as Portugal beat 10-man Panama 2-0 at the Estádio do Algarve.
Oliveira beat two men before lashing the ball into the top corner on the half-hour mark and, after Gabriel Gomez was sent off early in the second half for a clash with Joao Moutinho, Ronaldo turned to fire home moments later.
Wales‘ preparations for their World Cup qualification campaign ended with a 2-0 defeat against Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Martin Paterson’s 84th-minute penalty earned Northern Ireland an entertaining 3-3 draw against Finland.