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England too good for Schweini and Co

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England too good for Schweini and Co

Postby FCBayernNews » Thu Nov 20, 2008 8:45 am

Nine Bayern stars featured in international friendlies across Europe on Wednesday evening, producing an overall positive record of three wins, two draws and one defeat. The only Munich man to add his name to the scoresheet on the night was Italy goal-getter Luca Toni.

Germany ended an overwhelmingly positive 2008 on a disappointing note with a 2-1 defeat to arch-rivals England in front of a capacity 74,244 crowd at the Berlin Olympic stadium. Matthew Upson (23) handed Fabio Capello's visiting side a first-half lead, but Patrick Helmes capitalised on a defensive misunderstanding to level after 63 minutes. England skipper John Terry atoned for that error with a deserved headed winner six minutes from time.

"That wasn't our best day," Bastian Schweinsteiger acknowledged afterwards. "England were tactically clever, we never really got going, and we didn't play good football either," continued the Bayern man after his 62nd international appearance, in which he took over the captain's armband from Miroslav Klose after the striker was substituted at half-time. Lukas Podolski, the third Munich star to feature in the match, replaced Mario Gomez after 57 minutes, but shared his team-mates' inability to significantly alter the course of the game.

Argentina duo Martin Demichelis and Jose Sosa enjoyed a more successful evening in national colours. In former player Diego Maradona's first match as head coach, the Gauchos defeated Scotland 1-0 at Hampden Park in Glasgow, Atletico Madrid marksman Maxi Rodriguez netting the only goal of the game after eight minutes. Demichelis played the full 90 minutes, while Sosa earned another senior cap as a last-minute replacement for Rodriguez.

Luca Toni saved World Cup holders Italy from a negative end to the international year with a 54th-minute equaliser in a 1-1 draw with Greece. The Bayern striker gave way to Fiorentina hitman Alberto Gilardino shortly afterwards. 2004 European champions Greece, coached by ex-FCB boss Otto Rehhagel, had taken a 50th-minute lead somewhat against the run of play through Leverkusen front man Theofanis Gekas. Italy supremo Marcello Lippi has now overseen a run of 31 games unbeaten at the national helm (with a break from summer 2006 to summer 2008), equalling the world record jointly held by Alfio Basile (Argentina) and Javier Clemente (Spain).

Bayern captain Mark van Bommel and his Netherlands team-mates chalked up a clear-cut 3-1 home victory over Sweden at the PSV stadium in Eindhoven. Robin von Persie (2) and Dirk Kuyt scored for the Dutch, Kim Källström replying for the Scandinavian visitors. Van Bommel, who had a goal chalked off for a dubious offside call, completed the full 90 minutes.

Franck Ribéry and France were held to a disappointing goalless draw by Uruguay at the Stade de France in Paris. Ribéry gave way to Karim Benzema on the hour. Finally, Daniel van Buyten and his Belgium team-mates hardly covered themselves in glory with a 1-1 draw away to minnows Luxembourg.
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