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Low draws Dutch blank as Austrians lose again

ON A NIGHT when Sweden served up a stark warning to Ireland ahead of the World Cup qualifiers in March with their thrilling win over England, Austria slumped to another defeat in a friendly international.

The Austrians, who come to Dublin for a qualifier in March, went down 3-0 at home to the Ivory Coast in front of 13,000 fans in Linz last night.

Aston Villa star Andreas Weimann came on as a second-half sub for the Austrians but the away side were too powerful, with Didier Drogba among the scorers for the Ivory Coast.

Joachim Low's Germany drew 0-0 away to Holland in a friendly last night, while Pedro took his goal tally in his last five internationals to seven when an under-strength Spain thumped Panama 5-1 to end the year unbeaten in 16 matches.

The world and European champions eased into a 3-0 halftime lead in Panama City thanks to Pedro's double and a goal from record scorer and stand-in captain David Villa, his 53rd on his 85th appearance for his country.

Playing their final match of 2012 and without rested midfield stalwarts Xavi and Xabi Alonso, Vicente del Bosque's side missed a host of chances before substitute Sergio Ramos curled in a superb free kick in the 82nd minute.

Jesus Navas fed Markel Susaeta to score on his debut from close range two minutes later and the boisterous home fans were rewarded when Gabriel Gomez cheekily beat Iker Casillas with a chipped penalty three minutes from time.