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International friendly roundup

1 March 2006 23:50

While most of the World Cup participants were in action on Wednesday, plenty of other nations contested international friendlies. SoccerWay gives you a recap of the night's action, many of the European sides using these matches in preparation for upcoming Euro 2008 qualifying games.

Senegal - Norway 2-1

It was a great win for the Africans as they look to return to their form of four years, and they got off on the right foot as Moussa N'Diaye put them in front 1-0 in Dakar.

Babacar Gueye doubled the advantage in the 35th minute after powering past Norwegian defenders to slot past Thomas Myhre, but the visitors got level in the 40th minute on Eric Hagen's header.

The Scandinavians got no closer, though, and Senegal recorded a nice win at home.

Israel - Denmark 0-2

With security tight in Tel Aviv, Israel looked far from their best as Denmark struck twice early to secure a victory.

Ajax-bound striker Kenneth Perez put the Danes in front just three minutes in with a beautiful free kick, and Morten Skoubo doubled the advantage 15 minutes later with a simple finish.

Malta - Georgia 0-2

Klaus Toppmöller got a win in his first match in charge of Georgia as they defeated Malta in Ta'Qali.

Otar Martsvaladze opened the scoring just eight minutes in after confusion in the Maltese defense opened the door, and a header by Jaba Kankava made it 2-0 in the 20th minute, but he was sent off just shy of the hour mark.

Northern Ireland - Estonia 1-0

Northern Ireland ended a run of eight years without a home win in a friendly as they defeated Estonia with goal right out of the gate by Ivan Sproule.

Sproule took a deflected flick by James Quinn and fired into the corner of Mart Poom's net in his first-ever start for Northern Ireland.

Their last friendly win at Windsor Park came on 22 April, 1998 in a 1-0 victory over Switzerland.

Austria - Canada 0-2

Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria looked far from competitive form on Wednesday as substitute Jim Brennan scored twice to lift Canada to a win in a match the visitors dominated.

Brennan gave the Maple Leafs a 1-0 lead in Vienna on 65 minutes when he fired in a shot from the edge of the penalty area, and he doubled the lead just six minutes later from 20 yards.

Luxembourg - Belgium 0-2 (Susp. 64')

The debut of new Belgium coach René Vandereycken was suspended after just 64 minutes of their match with regional rivals Luxembourg.

Kevin Vandenbergh had given the Red Devils the lead just before the half-time interval, and Luigi Pieroni doubled the advantage just three minutes before heavy snow forced the encounter to be stopped.

FYR Macedonia - Bulgaria 0-1

It was not a good debut for new Macedonia coach Srecko Katanec, as a goal from distance by Atlético Madrid midfielder Martin Petrov in the 39th minute lifted the Bulgarians to victory in Skopje.

The Macedonians are winless in their own country since a Euro 2004 qualifying win over Armenia in August of 2004.

Venezuela - Colombia 1-1

In the matchup between regional rivals, it was Venezuela who took the lead on 48 minutes as Jesús Gómez turned in a cross from Juan Arango.

The Colombians, not to be outdone, equalized with 20 minutes to go when Elkin Soto hit a blistering shot into the net, much to the dismay of the Venezuelan fans in Maracaibo.

Albania - Lithuania 1-2

Lithuania needed to come from behind to beat Albania away in rainy Tirana on Wednesday, but things looked promising for the home side in the 33rd minute as Adrian Aliaj converted a penalty kick to take the lead.

However, Mantas Savenas wasted no time in pulling the Lithuanians level and Tomas Danilevicius fired home the winner just before the interval.

CYPRUS INTERNATIONAL TOURNAMENT

Slovenia - Romania 0-2

Romania won their group in the tournament with their second victory in two days, Ionut Mazilu opening the scoring in the 23rd minute with his first goal for Romania off of Razvan Rat's cross.

Slovenia's Andrej Pecnik gave up Romania's second in the 53rd minute when he found the back of his own net, which ensured Romania the win.

Kazakhstan - Greece 0-2

Greece also received honors as they won their group with a comfortable win over Kazakhstan.

Georgios Samaras put the Greeks in front in the 68th minute with a finish after a nice pass by Loukas Vintra, and Stelios Giannakopoulos added a second in extra time after the Kazakhs had Andrei Travin sent off in the 87th minute.

Finland - Belarus 2-2 (5-4 pens)

Finland needed a late goal to earn a draw with Belarus before defeating them on penalties.

Sergei Kornilenko gave Belarus a lead eight minutes into the second half and Oleg Shkabara's header made it 2-0 shortly after, but Aki Riihilahti's goal in the 82nd minute gave the Finns life.

Just before the end, Mikael Forssell struck to force the game to a penalty shootout where the Finnish would prevail.

Cyprus - Armenia 2-0

The tournament hosts finished off on the right note with a win over Armenia.

Ioannis Okkas fired the Cypriots into the lead with an 18th-minute lob, and they secured the win on the hour mark as Chrysostomos Michael fired home.

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