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World Cup warm-ups: France, Japan and U.S. start with wins

Last updated on: May 28, 2014 14:03 IST

World Cup warm-ups: Valbuena stars as France decimate Norway 4-0



France, Japan and United States recorded solid victories on Tuesday as the finalists continued their preparations with the start of the World Cup just over two weeks away.

France winger Mathieu Valbuena was in a class of his own as he set up three goals in a 4-0 victory at home to Norway to help his side start their World Cup warm-up games in style.

Valbuena excelled in a one-sided encounter, providing perfect crosses for Paul Pogba and Olivier Giroud, who netted twice, to get on the scoresheet along with substitute Loic Remy.

"Scoring four goals is never easy at international level, it's good for our confidence," France coach Didier Deschamps told TF1.

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Image: France's Mathieu Valbuena reacts during their international friendly World Cup warm-up match against Norway at the Stade de France Stadium in Saint-Denis, near Paris on Tuesday
Photographs: Charles Platiau/Reuters


US preside over disciplined Azerbaijan

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The United States got their World Cup preparations off to a positive start with a comfortable 2-0 friendly win over a well-disciplined Azerbaijan at CandlestickPark in San Francisco on Tuesday.

Substitute Mix Diskerud pounced to drive home from close range in the 75th minute before Aron Johannsson headed a second eight minutes later.

Juergen Klinsmann suffered a blow shortly before kick-off when Clint Dempsey was withdrawn with a 'sore groin' but the German told ESPN that the forward should recover from his injury in a few days.

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Image: United States forward Aron Johannsson (9) celebrates with defender Matt Besler (5) after scoring a goal against Azerbaijan at Candlestick Park on Tuesday
Photographs: Kelley L Cox-USA TODAY Sports/Reuters

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Dominant Japan edge Cyprus

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Fullback Atsuto Uchida slotted the only goal as a dominant Japan grabbed a 1-0 victory over Cyprus in a largely uninspiring World Cup send off in front of 59,000 fans.

The Schalke O4 defender, on his return to the Japan side after a thigh injury curtailed his season in Germany, drove home at the second attempt two minutes before halftime after his initial effort was blocked.

Shinji Kagawa, Yoichiro Kakitani and Keisuke Honda went close to adding to the lead for the Japanese, who dominated possession and were rarely tested in defence.

"I think the team did okay. We had a physically hard training camp in Ibusuki so there was not so much sharpness, but our decision making was good," Japan coach Alberto Zaccheroni told reporters.

Image: Japan's Atsuto Uchida (centre) celebrates with teammates after scoring against Cyprus during their international friendly in Saitama, Tokyo on Tuesday
Photographs: Toru Hanai/Reuters

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