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Euro warm-up: Slovakia stun green Germany; Portugal, Spain win

May 30, 2016 12:25 IST
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Action from the stormy Germany vs Slovakia match in Bavaria in Germany on Sunday

IMAGE: Action from the stormy Germany vs Slovakia match in Bavaria in Germany on Sunday. Photograph: Germany/Twitter

An inexperienced Germany suffered an embarrassing 3-1 defeat to Slovakia in a storm-affected friendly ahead of Euro 2016.

Slovakia, who will make their European championships debut in Group B alongside Wales, England and Russia next month, recorded a deserved win in Augsburg in as Germany coach

Joachim Loew fielded four uncapped players.

A heavy storm in Bavaria at half-time meant the break was extended to 35 minutes and it was Slovakia who profitted from the soggy second-half conditions by adding their third goal.

Germany took an early lead when Mario Gomez converted a penalty, while goals from Marek Hamsik and Michal Duris just before half-time put Slovakia 2-1 up at the break.

The world champions looked out of sorts and a calamitous error by Germany's replacement goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen then gifted Slovakia's Juraj Kucka the only goal of the second half.

Centre-back Jerome Boateng, who was at the centre of an off-field political storm after a right-wing politician said most Germans would not want to have him as a neighbour, was the only member of the Germany team who had started the World Cup final two years ago.

Banners reading "Jerome, move in next to us" showed the feelings of most Germany fans.

Loew gave out new caps, two in each half, to goalkeeper Bernd Leno and Bayern Munich defender Joshua Kimmich, then midfielders Julian Weigl and Julian Brandt.

Schalke's Leroy Sane made only his second appearance in the attacking midfield role behind Gomez.

Ronaldo-less Portugal sink Norway 3-0

Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma (20) celebrates his goal against Norway with his teammate Raphael Guerreiro after scoring against Norway on Sunday

IMAGE: Portugal's Ricardo Quaresma (20) celebrates his goal against Norway with his teammate Raphael Guerreiro after scoring against Norway on Sunday. Photograph: Miguel Vidal/Reuters

Portugal made sure the absence of top scorer Cristiano Ronaldo, resting the day after after Real Madrid's Champions League triumph, went unnoticed as they thrashed Norway 3-0 in a Euro 2016 warm-up on Sunday.

Ronaldo would have been impressed with the finishing of his international team mates as Ricardo Quaresma and Raphael Guerreiro netted spectacular goals before Eder added a clinical third at the Dragao stadium.

The Portuguese started in an adventurous 4-3-3 formation and it soon paid off as 32-year old winger Quaresma fired them ahead against Norway, who failed to make the Euros, with a viciously swerving shot from the edge of the area in the 13th minute.

Giving his markers a roasting all night with dazzling footwork before he was substituted on the hour, the unsettled and often inconsistent Quaresma rolled back the years to show why he was once regarded as one of Europe's hot prospects.

It was then Guerreiro's turn to impress as the 22-year old left back curled in a delightful free kick in the 65th minute, with Norway goalkeeper Rune Jarstein clutching thin air.

Portugal continued to press and their towering striker Eder made it 3-0 five mintues later, sweeping home a perfect low cross from the right by midfielder Joao Mario.

The performance set a perfect stage for Portugal's visit to Wembley on Thursday, when they meet England in their final warm-up for next month's European Championship in France.

The Norwegians missed two gilt-edged chances as Joshua King was denied by goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and Veton Berisha hit the bar when the visitors were trailing 1-0.

Portugal are strong favourites to advance to the Euro 2016 knockout stages from Group F which also includes Austria, Hungary and Iceland.

Spain beat 10-man Bosnia in heated match

Spain's Manuel Agudo Nolito reacts after scoring his second goal against Bosnia and Herzegovina in St. Gallen, Switzerland on Sunday

IMAGE: Spain's Manuel Agudo Nolito reacts after scoring his second goal against Bosnia and Herzegovina in St. Gallen, Switzerland on Sunday. Photograph: Arnd Wiegmann/Reuters

Spain's Nolito scored his first international goals to set an experimental side on the way to a 3-1 friendly win over feisty Bosnia who had Emir Spahic sent off before halftime on Sunday.

European champions Spain, warming up for Euro 2016, gave debuts to eight players while Bosnia, who have not qualified for next month's tournament in France, were at full strength and appeared to treat the game like a competitive match.

Spain goalkeeper Sergio Asenjo, defender Hector Bellerin and midfielder Marco Asensio were all included in the starting lineup for their first international appearances.

Nolito, earning his seventh cap, put Spain ahead in the 11th minute when Edin Dzeko's headed clearance landed at his feet and he curled the ball in off the far post.

The Celta Vigo player struck again eight minutes later with a delicate chip over keeper Asmir Begovic from inside the area.

Bosnia striker Dzeko, who has had an unhappy season with AS Roma, was replaced by Milan Duric shortly afterwards, although it was not clear if he was injured.

Bosnia reduced the arrears just before the half hour when Spahic outjumped Marc Bartra at a corner to head home and bring the boisterous Bosnia fans, who made up the majority in the 12,000 crowd, to life.

Tempers flared just before halftime, though, and Spahic was sent off after he appeared to hit a Spain player in the face as he ran to join a touchline scuffle involving several players.

Spain's Denis Suarez, Inaki Williams, Mikel Oyarzabal, Javier Diego Llorente and Pablo Fornals were all brought on during the second half to make their debuts.

Despite being a man down, Bosnia looked more dangerous in the second half and Spain had to cling on for their win.

Djuric was sent clear of the Spanish defence but his shot was stopped by Asenjo and Haris Duljevic hit the post with a cross which evaded the Spain defence.

Pedro completed the win for the Spaniards when he snapped up a rebound with the last kick of the game.

Pelle strike gives Italy 1-0 Euro warm-up win over Scots

Italy gave themselves a European Championship boost with a comfortable 1-0 win over Scotland in a warm-up friendly at Malta’s Ta’ Qali national stadium on Sunday.

Striker Graziano Pelle broke the deadlock 12 minutes into the second half with a fine curling finish inside David Marshall’s left-hand post after a fine through ball into the box from Daniele De Rossi.

Scotland, who failed to qualify for next month's Euros, hardly troubled an all-Juventus back three and did not win a corner until the 70th minute, although eight minutes later Matt Ritchie hit the diving Gianluigi Buffon's side netting after a mistake in Italy's defence by substitute Federico Bernardeschi.

Euro 2016 begins on June 10 with Antonio Conte’s Italy team opening their Group E campaign against Belgium in Lyon on June 13 before they face Sweden and Ireland.

Midfielder Emanuele Giaccherini missed Italy’s three chances in the first half, Marshall making a double save with the first.

Antonio Candreva’s seventh-minute free kick beat the Scotland wall but Marshall went down sharply to block the shot. Giaccherini followed up but the keeper parried his effort too.

The midfielder was guilty of poor finishing in the 23rd when he blasted Candreva’s cross way over the bar.

Giaccherini was then just wide of the far post five minutes later with an effort from De Rossi’s lob over the defence.

Conte will have been pleased with the fitness of De Rossi, who played until the 67th after returning from an Achilles injury, given the midfielder’s sharp eye for a through ball.

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