29 mai, 2010

Llorente nicks late winner for Spain, USA beat Turkey

London - Fernando Llorente headed an injury-time winner as Spain continued their World Cup preparations with a 3-2 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia in Innsbruck.

USA, meanwhile, who face England in the finals in a fortnight, came from behind to beat Guus Hiddink's Turkey 2-1.

Vicente del Bosque's side are second favourites to lift the trophy in South Africa next month, but they struggled for rhythm, and a draw would probably have been a fair result.

Saudi Arabia, as though eager to make a point having missed out on the World Cup after five straight qualification, started brightly and took an 18th-minute lead.

Spain keeper Iker Casillas misjudged the flight of a corner, and Osama Hawsawi headed in.

Playing a 4-2-3-1 with Sergio Busquets and Xabi Alonso included at the back of midfield, Spain controlled possession, but it took them 13 minutes to pull level, David Villa heading in his 37th international goal.

They went ahead 13 minutes into the second half, Alonso pouncing after Iniesta's attempted through-ball was blocked, to sweep in a 25-yard shot.

But Saudi Arabia were neat and enterprising on the counter, and deservedly levelled with 16 minutes to go, a fluent passing move found Mohamed Al Sahlawi.

He turned and shot, and the ball flicked off Al Numare on its way past Casillas.

But as the clock ticked past 90, Llorente, the Athletic Bilbao target-man, headed in a right-wing corner to make it 3-2.

In Philadelphia, the USA turned in an impressive second-half display to beat Turkey, who will not be in South Africa.

Arda Turan put Turkey ahead on the break after 27 minutes, but Jozy Altidore levelled just before the hour following some fine work from Landon Donovan and Robbie Findley.

Clint Dempsey claimed the winner from another Donovan pass with quarter of an hour remaining.

Enoh Eyong scored a late equalizer as Cameroon drew 1-1 with fellow World Cup-qualifiers Slovakia in friendly in Klagenfurt.

The Indomitable Lions were without their captain and key centre-forward Samuel Eto'o, who began the day threatening to quit the international game after being criticized by Cameroon legend Roger Milla.

Although they had plenty of the ball, Cameroon rarely threatened,and the leveller, scored with four minutes remaining, came from their first real chance.

Playing characteristically intelligent passing football, Slovakia took the lead after six minutes.

Marek Hamsik controlled Miroslav Stoch's pass well in the box,turned and laid it off to Kopunek, who carved the ball into the top corner with the outside of his right foot from just outside the box.

It was his first goal for his country in his eighth international. Running onto a smart pass from one substitute, Vladimir Weiss, another half-time replacement, Stanislav Sestak slammed a shot against the crossbar four minutes after half-time.

The ball bounced down, seemingly over the line, but the goal wasn't given.

It seemed as though it wouldn't matter, but Eyong took down Benoit Assou-Ekotto's cross on his chest and scooped the ball over goalkeeper Dusan Kuciak, who was perhaps a little slow off his line.

It was Cameroon's first goal in three games.

Kuciak was then carried off with a knee injury, but there was better news on the injury front for Slovakia in that Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel, who missed much of the season through injury,passed through the game unscathed.

Germany recorded a comfortable 3-0 win over Hungary in Budapest, second-half goals from Mario Gomez and Cacau making the game safe after Lukas Podolski had converted an early penalty.

Serbia, many people's dark horses for the World Cup, suffered a shock 1-0 defeat to New Zealand, Shane Smeltz getting the goal midway through the first half

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