International Friendly Recap: Wednesday May 30

31/05/2012

Spain 4, South Korea 1

Three second half goals carried Spain to a big victory. Xabi Alonso broke a 1-1 tie from the penalty spot, and Santi Cazorla and Alvaro Negredo scored to ice the win. Fernando Torres drew first blood in the match, which is very encouraging to see from the Chelsea forward.

Sweden 3, Iceland 2

It took Zlatan Ibrahimovic two minutes to get Sweden on the board, and the Swedes held off Iceland. Ola Toivonen and Christian Wilhelmsson netted the other tallies. Iceland fell short against France by the score on 3-2 on Sunday, and are proving to be an appropriate test for teams preparing for Euro 2012.

Netherlands 2, Slovakia 0

The Dutch got back on track with a victory over a team they beat in the round of 16 in the 2010 World Cup. A seventh minute own goal gave the Netherlands a lead and Rafael Van der Vaart came off the bench and provided an insurance goal with a quarter-hour remaining.


International Friendly Recap: Tuesday May 29

29/05/2012

Russia 0, Lithuania 0

Another friendly, another draw for Russia. They earned a 1-1 draw against 2011 Copa America champions Uruguay on Friday. Russia played a scorless tie against Lithuania on Tuesday, which could cause concern in the Russian camp. Igor Akinfeev started in the net and should be the starting goalkeeper for Euro 2012. Roman Pavlyuchenko made an appearance as a substitute after not playing against Uruguay. Friday’s goalscorer Alexander Kerzhakov started with Andrei Arshavin in attack, and forward Pavel Pogrebnyak didn’t play. There are still questions on who will start with Arshavin up top on June 8.

Italy vs. Luxembourg POSTPONED 

An earthquake in northern Italy cancelled Italy’s Euro warmup against Luxembourg. The game was going to be played in Parma, and the earthquake occurred near the city. A similar quake hit northern Italy last week.


International Friendly Recap: Monday May 28

28/05/2012

The only International Friendly on Monday saw host country Ukraine dominate Estonia 4-0. Ukraine got goals from Andriy Yarmolenko, Oleg Gusev, Andriy Voronin and Artem Milevskiy. Ukraine star forward Andriy Shevchenko came on at halftime and played the entire second half. Ukraine outshot the Estonians 26-4 and had 69 percent time of possession. Estonia played their second match in four days. They were defeated 3-1 by Croatia on Friday.


International Friendly Recap

28/05/2012

Over the last three days, 13 of the 16 teams in Euro 2012 were part of International Friendlies. Here are the results of the matches and some of the highlights of who scored and who played.

Friday March 25

Russia 1, Uruguay 1

Halftime substitute Alexander Kerzhakov equalized after Luis Suarez drew first blood in a 1-1 match in Moscow. Kerzhakov came in for Pavel Pogrebnyak, who started up top with Andrei Arshavin. Goalkeeper Viacheslav Malafeev started between the pipes, while Igor Akinfeev was an unused substitute.

Croatia 3, Estonia 1

Croatia got goals from Vedran Corluka, Nikola Kalinic and Ognjen Vukojevic. Kalinic paired with Eduardo at forward, and Niko Kranjcar came on as a sub in the beginning of the second half. Luka Modric did not dress, but should be ready for Euro 2012.

Saturday March 26

Brazil 3, Denmark 1

Nicklas Bendtner scored the Danes lone goal, as they fell to the South American giants. This was an appropriate test for Denmark, as they sit in a group with Germany, Netherlands and Portugal. Daniel Agger and Simon Kjaer started at center back and must play well in the tournament.

Ireland 1, Bosnia-Herzegovina 0

Substitute Shane Long netted a 78th minute winner. Long came on for Robbie Keane, who has been playing consistently for the LA Galaxy. Goalkeeper Shay Given sat out as a precaution.

Poland 1, Slovakia 0

Defender Damien Perquis scored on the half-hour mark for Poland. The Poland starting lineup could be the squad for the June 8 opener.

Portugal 0, Macedonia 0

This match was stalemate between two teams with a wide margin of talent. Cristiano Ronaldo started and played 72 minutes. Raul Meireles and Nani come off the bench.

Spain 2, Serbia 0

Adrian and Santi Cazorla scored for the World and European Champs. Adrian didn’t make the cut for Spain’s official Euro 2012 roster. You can’t take Spain’s starting lineup too seriously because the Barcelona players were part of the Copa del Rey Final a day earlier.

Switzerland 5, Germany 3

Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok scored a hat trick and Germany suffered a setup back in their Euro preparation. Germany was without the Bayern Munich players, but Mats Hummels, Mesut Ozil, Sami Khedira, Mario Gotze, Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski were in the starting 11.

Bulgaria 2, Netherlands 1

Another big upset for a Group B team. Robin Van Persie picked up where he left off with Arsenal and scored a goal. However, two second half Bulgaria goals has to be worrisome for a team with a shaky defense.

Czech Republic 2, Israel 1

Milan Baros converted a penalty and David Lafata scored a late winner. Tomas Rosicky was held out with an injury, but insists he will be ready by June 8.

Greece 1, Slovenia 1

Vasilis Torosidis scored for Greece, but they let up a late goal in a draw. Theofanis Gekas and Georgios Samaras were the starting striker duo for Greece.

England 1, Norway 0

Ashley Young scored the lone goal. The Chelsea players were not available so the starting defense will look different for the opener against France. Gareth Barry left with an injury and might miss the tournament. Andy Carroll started and played 90 minutes at forward. Forward Danny Welbeck wasn’t fit.

Sunday May 27

France 3, Iceland 2

France was two goals down at halftime, and saved embarrassment with goals from Mathieu Debuchy, Franck Ribery and Adil Rami. Defender Patrice Evra started. Hatem Ben Arfa and Samir Nasri started in the midfield behind strike Karin Benzema.