A thunderous late strike from Jermain Defoe secured a 2-1 win for England over Italy in Bern, Switzerland last night and gave the Three Lions a taste of revenge for their Euro 2012 quarter-final defeat.
The Azzuri knocked Roy Hodgson’s side out of the tournament in Poland and Ukraine on penalties earlier this summer and took the lead at the Wankdorfstadion after a quarter of an hour through a Daniele de Rossi header.
Former the West Ham man Alessandro Diamanti’s left-footed corner was whipped in at the near-post, where De Rossi got across his marker, the returning Michael Carrick, and glanced a header past young debutant goalkeeper Jack Butland.
England responded well and were level just over ten minutes later in a similar fashion, as Everton defender Phil Jagielka guided home Frank Lampard’s header with a diving header.
The game looked to be ending in a draw until ten minutes before time when Defoe gathered a James Milner pass on the edge of the Italy area before turning and firing an unstoppable shot into the far top corner.
New Arsenal playmaker Santi Cazorla and former Gunners captain Cesc Fabregas were on the scoresheet as Spain defeated Puerto Rico 2-1 in Bayamon.
The new arrival in north London opened the scoring with a long-range effort that was dealt with poorly by home goalkeeper Gaudette and Fabregas volleyed home just minutes later to give the reigning world and European champions a two-goal lead at half time.
The home side halved the deficit with little over half an hour to go through Marc Cintron, but the Spaniards held on to the lead comfortably - see the goals above.
Lionel Messi was star of the show in Frankfurt as Argentina overcame Germany in a comfortable 3-1 win.
The Barcelona striker missed a penalty in the first half, but recovered to put Alejandro Sabella’s side 2-0 up son after half-time, adding to a Sami Khedira own goal.
Angel di Maria made it three with a spectacular strike before Benedikt Howedes got the home side a consolation.
Di Maria’s Real Madrid colleague Cristiano Ronaldo was also on target in Portugal’s routine 2-0 win over Panama. The Portuguese captain hit a sumptuous half-volley from the edge of the area in the second half, adding to Nelson Oliveira’s opener in the half hour.
New Holland boss Louis van Gaal saw his side put in a dreadful second-half performance as they were swept aside 4-2 by neighbours Belgium.
Luciano Narsingh and Klaas-Jan Huntelaar hactually gave the Oranje the lead on 55 minutes, cancelling out Christian Benteke’s opener, before Dries Mertens, Romelu Lukaku and Jan Vertonghen finished the game off for the hosts.
Brazil got over their Olympic final defeat by trouncing Sweden 3-0 in Solna. Leandro Damiao and a late brace for AC Milan striker Alexandre Pato won it for Mano Menezes' side, who showed no after-effects from the shock defeat to Mexico at Wembley last week.
France’s first game under new manager Didier Deschamps was against Uruguay, but a new look side could not break the deadlock against the South American champions and he match ended scoreless.
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