Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Friendly fire

Friendly fire.
Tue 18th Nov 2014

World Champions Germany slid and slipped in a Vigo monsoon to a 1-0 win over Spain. Both teams struggled with the incessant downpour but forged several goalscoring opportunities.Vicente del Bosque made six substitutions, Jogi Low three. Toni Kroos scored a minute from time with a skidding shot whose bounce fooled subsitute goalkeeper Kiko Casilla.

Argentina lost 1-0 in Manchester to Portugal, for whom Cristiano Ronaldo and Nani were back on familiar turf at Old Trafford. Lionel Messi played the first half, Carlos Tevez replaced Gonzalo Higuain and Erik Lamela Angel di Maria in the second, but Man City stars Sergio Aguero and Pablo Zabaleta remained on the bench. Portugal's winner came in injury time from Raphael Guerreiro.

Cristiano Ronaldo.
Colombia maintained their rich vein of form with a 1-0 win over Slovenia in Ljubljana. Borussia Dortmund's Adrian Ramos scored the only goal in the 43rd minute for the Cafeteros.

Brazil won their sixth straight game under coach Dunga since their fateful World Cup, defeating Austria 2-1 in Vienna thanks to goals from David Luiz and Roberto Firmino.

France, also unbeaten since the World Cup, beat Sweden 1-0 in Marseille thanks to a goal by Real Madrid defender Raphael Varane.

The Republic of Ireland thumped the USA 4-1 in Dublin. Hull's Robbie Brady netted a brace and there were additional strikes from James McClean and Anthony Pilkington.

Belarus and Mexico also shared five goals in Borisov, the East Europeans winning 3-2.

England beat Scotland 3-1 in Glasgow. A Wayne Rooney brace took him to third in the list of all-time England goalscorers, while Scotland lost their first in five. The world's oldest football international dates back to 1870.

Fabio Capello, unpaid for five months, got some relief as Russia enjoyed a first win in four, 2-1 against Hungary in Budapest.

Greece followed up their embarrassing defeat to the Faroes by losing 2-0 at home to Serbia, their fourth reverse in five.

Japan won their AFC derby against Australia 2-1 in Osaka. Yasuyuki Konno and Shinji Okazaki were on the mark for the Samurai Blue, while Tim Cahill netted a consolation for the Socceroos. In Teheran, Iran beat South Korea 1-0.

Poland drew 2-2 with Switzerland in Wroclaw, Italy beat Albania 1-0 in Genoa and fast-improving Romania beat Denmark 2-0 in Bucharest.

Late kick-offs:

Bolivia v Venezuela, Chile v Uruguay, Peru v Paraguay, Panama v Canada, Nicaragua v El Salvador

-Sean O'Conor & Soccerphile

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