High-level friendlies in Europe: surprising fall for France and draw for Spain

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The world champion fell 2-0 at home against Finland. Those of Luis Enrique equaled the Netherlands. Portugal and Italy swept.

After a year in which the coronavirus pandemic kept them inactive for several months and even forced the Euro to be postponed, those selected from the Old continent they are making the most of this last segment of the year. This Wednesday, 38 national teams took to the field to star in friendlies for all tastes, among which the draw between the Netherlands and Spain, the surprise defeat of France and the goals of Portugal and Italy stood out.

Although there were crossovers between top-level teams, the proximity of the last two dates of the group stage of the Nations League, which will be played between Saturday and next Wednesday, caused several coaches to rest many of their most important players and reserve them for those official commitments.

This is what Luis Enrique did, who at the Johan Cruyff Arena in Amsterdam gave minutes to footballers who are not usually starters in Spain as Héctor Bellerín, Marco Asensio, Koke and the debutante Unai Simon. Despite that, the Red exhibited a good image in the first half and went ahead to 18 minutes with a goal of Sergio Canales, who received from Alvaro Morata and beat with a crossed left foot Marco Bizot.

But the visitors fell asleep to the complement and the Manchester United midfielder Donny van de Beek He took the opportunity to pardo when only two minutes had been played. Then the locals had the best chances to win, but they squandered them.

Although in the history between these two selected there is an unforgettable milestone for Spain, the 1-0 victory in the 2010 World Cup final in South Africa, the Iberians had lost the four times they had faced the Orange on Dutch soil. This Wednesday they took at least one point.

Beyond the result, this crossing served so that Sergio Ramos, who entered the 39th minute of the second half, reached 176 international matches and reached Gianluigi Buffon as the active player with the most encounters with his selected team. The Real Madrid defender goes for the absolute record of the Egyptian Ahmed Hassan (184).

Like his colleague Luis Enrique, Didier Deschamps also booked several footballers for the Nations League matches against Portugal and Sweden. That did not make the defeat of France any less surprising, which fell 2-0 to Finland in the Stade de France in Saint-Denis. Marcus Forss Y Onni ValakariBoth in the first half, they scored the goals for the Scandinavians, who are classified for the next edition of the Euro.

Portugal opted for a test of very low demand against Andorra, 145th in the FIFA ranking. The victory of those led by Fernando Santos at the Estadio da Luz it was 7-0 and Cristiano Ronaldo, who was only on the field for 45 minutes, scored a goal. The others were from Paulinho -From-, Pedro Neto, Renato Sanches, João Félix Y Emili García -against-.

Like Portugal, Italy tried a modest rival and thrashed: the renewed team of Roberto Mancini beat 4 to 0 to Estonia at the Artemio Franchi stadium in Florence. Vincenzo Grifo -two, one criminal-, Federico Bernardeschi Y Riccardo Orsolini -of penalty- scored the goals for the Azure.

Furthermore, Germany defeated 1-0 to Czech Republic in Leipzig with a goal from Luca Waldschmidt and Belgium beat Switzerland 2-1 in Leuven with a double of Michy Batshuayi (Admir Mehmedi scored for the Helvetians).

After this day of friendlies, in the Old continent There will be official activity on Thursday, when the finals of the play-offs that will define the last four qualifiers for Euro 2020 will be played: Hungary will meet Iceland in Budapest, North Ireland will face Slovakia in Belfast, Serbia will collide with Scotland in Belgrade and Georgia will play with North macedonia and Tbilisi.

The duels will be a single match. In the event of a tie in the 90 minutes, a 30-minute extension will be played and if equality persists, the pass will be decided with shots from the penalty spot.

Netherlands 1 – 1 Spain

France 0 – 2 Finland

Germany 1 – 0 Czech Republic

Belgium 2 – 1 Switzerland


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