Silva saves Spain the blushes

Silva saves Spain the blushes

Argentina, England register narrow victories; Norway stun France

Silva saves Spain the blushes

Spain's David Silva (centre) celebrates with   team-mate Santiago Cazorla after scoring against Mexico during their international friendly match on Wednesday. AP

Mexico, who took a 12th-minute lead in the friendly through striker Javier Hernandez, had looked set to defeat Spain in their first outing since winning the World Cup in South Africa a month ago.

Hernandez chased a ball into space, faced goalkeeper Iker Caillas and, with the Spain captain expecting a shot across his body, slotted the ball inside the near post.

Spain, playing their trademark short passing game at a near walking pace in the first half, had come closest when a venomous shot from Santi Cazorla rattled Guillermo Ochoa's crossbar. Casillas had to make a diving save from midfielder Rafael Marquez before ceding his place to Victor Valdes in the second half.

Villa made no mistake two minutes into added time when he ran on to a fine through ball from Xavi to slot it past Corona.

Argentina win

Argentina began life after Diego Maradona on a winning note, marking their first game since the former coach's tumultuous spell in charge ended last month with a 1-0 friendly victory over Ireland.

Argentina took the lead when Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria grabbed his second international goal on 20 minutes, lobbing Ireland goalkeeper Shay Given after a deft lay off from club team-mate Gonzalo Higuain.

Norway pip France

An experimental France team lost 2-1 in Norway on Wednesday in their first outing since a shambolic World Cup campaign, forward Erik Huseklepp scoring twice for the home side in a lively friendly.

Les Bleus opened the scoring with a superb goal from substitute Hatem Ben Arfa shortly after the break but Huseklepp levelled by deflecting a free kick into the net before hitting the winner after a counter-attack on 70 minutes.

England score

England bounced back from the nadir of their dismal World Cup campaign with a 2-1 victory over Hungary in a friendly on Wednesday.

Two superb goals from skipper Steven Gerrard in three minutes in the second half turned the game England's way after Hungary scored a controversial goal which did not appear to have crossed the line.

An inexperienced Netherlands side were held to a 1-1 draw by Ukraine. Jeremain Lens put the Dutch in front in the 73rd minute after latching on to a rebound from Theo Janssen.

Ukrainian Olexandr Aliev turned a free kick into the top corner to net the equaliser.
South Africa began their post-World Cup era with a 1-0 win over Ghana and Uruguay rode on Edinson Cavani and Abel Hernandez goals to record a 2-0 win over Angola.

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