12th August 2009
Argentina and Czech Republic bag morale-boosting wins
Spain came from two-goals down to win in Macedonia, Argentina battled
past Russia while Brazil edged out Estonia.
Spain avoided a big upset after battling back from two-goals down
before claiming a 3-2 success over FYR Macedonia.
The home support were cheering from the ninth minute when Goran Pandev
opened the scoring. His second after 34 minutes had the European
champions firmly on the back foot.
Fernando Torres restored some pride shortly into the second half and
his goal proved to be the catalyst for a quick-fire comeback.
No sooner had defender Gerard Pique levelled matters had Liverpool
winger Albert Riera given the visitors a lead they would retain come
the final whistle.
Argentina’s players have eased the pressure on Diego Maradona after
securing a morale-boosting 3-2 victory over Russia.
Sergio Aguero cancelled out Igor Semshov’s17th minute opener for the
home side shortly before half-time. Lisandro Lopez fired the visitors
in front before Jesus Datolo’s long-range effort made it 3-1.
Spurs striker Roman Pavlyuchenko’s deflected effort pulled one back
for Guus Hiddink’s side, but Argentina, who are fourth in the South
American section of World Cup qualifying, held on.
South American leaders Brazil also secured a victory in Europe thanks
to Luis Fabiano’s winner against Estonia. The Sevilla ace tucked the
ball home past Sergei Pareiko in the 43rd minute of the game following
a swift break by the visitors.
Estonia’s best scoring chance came in the 22nd minute when Konstantin
Vassiljev broke through Brazil’s defence and his powerful shot drew
a fine save from Brazil keeper Julio Cesar.
Chile made it a successful night for South American teams after winning
2-1 in Denmark. Esteban Paredes and Alexis Sanchez were both on target
after Denmark had levelled matters through Lasse Schone.
Portugal warmed up for next month’s World Cup qualifiers with a 3-0
success over European minnows Liechtenstein.
Hugo Almeida struck twice and Raul Meireles also scored in an 11-minute
spell early in the first half.
Winger Simao Sabrosa was involved in the approach play for all three
goals as Almeida converted chances in the 14th and 25th minutes,
and Meireles scored in the 22nd.
Italy’s trip to Switzerland yielded a goalless draw as the Azzurri
failed to get the better of keeper Diego Benaglio.
The keeper made two excellent close-range saves in the 13th minute
and, although the world champions scrambled the ball home at the
third attempt, the goal was disallowed for a foul.
Manchester United starlet Zoran Tosic helped himself to a brace as
Serbia got the better of South Africa with a 3-1 victory.
After a goalless first half Danko Lazovic’s 69th minute effort
sandwiched a double from the 22-year-old winger before Katlego Mphela
netted a late consolation.
Czech Republic battled back from a goal down to secure a 3-1 success
over Belgium in Ivan Hasek’s first game at the helm. The visitors
were ahead in the 12th minute courtesy of Jan Vertonghen’s swerving
However, the Czechs never looked back after Roman Hubnik headed home
15 minutes later. Milan Baros converted from the penalty spot before
David Rozehnal wrapped up a late success.
Three goals in the space of eight second half minutes gave Turkey an
impressive 3-0 success over Ukraine. Tuncay, Servet Cetin and Halil
Altintop all netted in a blistering spell as Turkey cruised home.
Dimitar Rangelov scored the only goal of the game as Bulgaria squeezed
past Latvia while John Elmander, scoring his first international goal
in two years, lifted Sweden to a win over Finland.
Victor Golovatenco scored goals either side of half-time as Moldova
ran out 4-1 winners in Armenia. Ararat Arakelyan halved the deficit
before Valeriu Andronic and Aleksandr Epureanu completed the rout.
Tiberiu Ghioane’s 42nd minute goal gave Romania a 1-0 win in Hungary
while Albania put Cyprus to the sword with a one-sided 6-1 success.
Pierre Webo scored twice as Cameroon won 2-0 in Austria. Tomas
Danilevicius struck the only goal of the game as Lithuania edged out
Poland beat Greece 2-0, Malta got the better of Georgia by the same
scoreline while Tunisia’s game with Ivory Coast finished goalless.
Iceland avoided defeat at home to Slovakia after Kristjan Orn
Sigurdsson cancelled out Robert Vitek’s first-half opener for the
Elsewhere, Park Chu-Young’s late winner lifted South Korea to a win
over Paraguay, Hao Yang cancelled out Noh Alam Shah’s opener as China
drew 1-1 with Singapore while Oman beat Saudi Arabia 2-1.