Sunday 17 December 2017

Messi has last word over Ronaldo as Tevez dropped from squad

Argentina 2
Portugal 1

Carlos Tevez was dropped from the Argentina squad last night as punishment for missing the previous friendly against Brazil.

Without Tevez, Lionel Messi scored a 90th-minute penalty to give them victory over Cristiano Ronaldo's Portugal in the first international meeting of the two players. Two-time World Player of the Year Messi earlier set up Angel di Maria to give Argentina a 14th-minute lead.

Ronaldo levelled in the 21st minute to get his first career goal in a match against Messi. The Portugal captain, World Player of the Year in 2008, also went close twice with second-half shots.

Germany 1
Italy 1

Substitute Giuseppe Rossi struck for Italy nine minutes from time to salvage a draw against Germany.

Miroslav Klose's 16th-minute goal looked to have handed the hosts their first win over the Azzuri in 16 years in the same Dortmund stadium where they lost to them in extra-time in the 2006 World Cup semi-finals.

The Italians, with Gianluigi Buffon and Antonio Cassano back in the team, and Brazil-born midfielder Thiago Motta in his first start after playing for Brazil's U-23 side, were largely toothless in the first half.

Substitutes Marco Borriello and Alberto Aquilani added some pace in the second half before Rossi beat Manuel Neuer in the 81st minute.

France 1
Brazil 0

Karim Benzema scored in his third successive international match as France beat 10-man Brazil with the only goal of the game at the Stade de France last night.

The Real Madrid striker scored in the 54th minute after brilliant work from Jeremy Menez down the right, and could have scored five more goals.

Brazil midfielder Hernanes was shown a straight red card for an awful challenge on Benzema in the 40th minute.

Goalkeeper Julio Cesar denied Benzema with two superb saves, one at point-blank range, and Benzema clipped a shot just wide of the right post after a mazy run.

Iran 1
Russia 0

Mohammad Reza Khalatbari scored a last-minute winner then got sent off for celebrating as Iran stunned Russia in a scrappy friendly played in the United Arab Emirates.

Khalatbari sprung the offside trap before beating goalkeeper Igor Akinfeyev from close range.

It was Iran's first ever win over Russia -- who top Ireland's Group B for Euro 2012.

Fellow Group B rivals Slovakia also lost, going down 2-1 to Luxembourg.

  • David Silva came off the bench to rescue Spain's night with an 86th minute winner and give the World Champions a 1-0 win in a friendly at home to Colombia.

Irish Independent

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