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Rediff.com  » Sports » Images: England survive, Argentina and Brazil win

Images: England survive, Argentina and Brazil win

Last updated on: August 13, 2009 

Defoe spares England the blushes

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Substitute Jermain Defoe struck twice after the break to spare the blushes of England's defenders and earn Fabio Capello's side a 2-2 draw in a friendly with the Netherlands on Wednesday.

England were punished for two blunders at the back in the first half as they fell 2-0 behind through opportunist strikes from Dirk Kuyt and Rafael van der Vaart.

England improved greatly after the break and speedy substitute Defoe beat the Dutch defence to poke home before sliding in an equaliser with 13 minutes remaining.


Image: Jermain Defoe (centre) scores against the Netherlands
Photographs: Reuters
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Spain rally to beat Macedonia

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European champions Spain struck three times in a devastating five-minute spell to come from behind and beat Macedonia 3-2 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Macedonia's Goran Pandev had made the most of a strangely sluggish start from Spain to net two stylish breakaway goals in the first half.

Three strikes in quick succession from Fernando Torres, Gerard Pique and Albert Riera turned the game at the start of the second half to spare the visitors' blushes.



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France squeeze past Faroes

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France squeezed a 1-0 victory out of an unconvincing performance in Wednesday's World Cup qualifier in the Faroe Islands while Germany laboured to a 2-0 win in Azerbaijan.

France had forward Andre-Pierre Gignac's first international goal to thank for a triumph that lifts them within five points of Group Seven leaders Serbia with a game in hand.

The group winners qualify for the finals in South Africa, with the eight best runners-up going through to a two-legged play-off.


Image: France's Andre-Pierre Gignac (right) heads the ball

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Germany win to bolster qualifying lead

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Germany stretched their lead over Russia in World Cup qualifying by comfortably beating Azerbaijan 2-0 on Wednesday.

Goals from Bastian Schweinsteiger and Miroslav Klose took Germany four points clear of their chief Group Four rivals Russia, who have a game in hand.

"We completed our mission and got the three points," said Germany coach Joachim Loew. "But we had some problems as we lacked rhythm and keeping the same pace for 90 minutes."


Image: Bastian Schweinsteiger celebrates a goal

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Argentina recover to beat Russia

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Striker Lisandro Lopez and new cap Jesus Datolo scored in the second half as Argentina recovered from a goal down to beat Russia 3-2 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Russia went ahead after a quarter of an hour with a shot from midfielder Igor Semshov and striker Sergio Aguero volleyed the equaliser on the stroke of halftime.

Coach Diego Maradona, whose side are warming up for a key World Cup qualifier at home to Brazil next month, sent on substitute Lopez for the second half and he put Argentina ahead within 30 seconds.

Midfielder Datolo had only been on a few minutes as a substitute when he fired home to put Argentina further ahead on the hour before striker Roman Pavlyuchenko pulled one back for Guus Hiddink's Russians with 12 minutes to go.


Image: Andrey Arshavin tries to beat Argentina goalkeeper Mariano Andujar

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Fabiano strike gives Brazil win

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Striker Luis Fabiano scored just before halftime as Brazil beat Estonia 1-0 in a friendly for their ninth win in a row in Tallinn on Wednesday.

After solid defence by the Estonians for most of the first half, Luis Fabiano picked up a poor clearance to beat Estonia's hard working goalkeeper Sergei Pareiko.

The game developed into more of a training session for Brazil with few flashes of brilliance as they warmed up for next month's World Cup qualifiers against Argentina and Chile.


Image: Brazil midfielder Kaka (right) tries to get the ball past Estonia's Aleksandr Dmitrijev

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