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International Rewind: Spain salvages draw, Messi tallies for Argentina & more

SpainCostaRica (Reuters Pictures)


They may be playing meaningless friendlies, but the defending World and European champions are stuck in a run of form unbecoming of the top-ranked team in the world.

After trailing 2-0, Spain scored twice in the final 10 minutes to salvage a 2-2 away draw with Costa Rica in a match in which much of the first-team saw action. Manchester City standout David Silva scored in the 83rd minute to cut the deficit to 2-1 before David Villa completed the comeback with a headed goal in stoppage time.

The goals canceled out first-half strikes from Randall Brenes and Joel Campbell. The draw follows up a 1-0 loss to England at Wembley on Saturday and continues a trend of Spain under-performing in friendlies after last summer's World Cup with losses to Argentina, Portugal and Italy.

Elsewhere in international soccer:


Argentina has been struggling in the early stages of CONEMBOL World Cup qualifying, but second-half goals from Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero gave the South American giants a vital victory against Colombia. Dorlan Pabon put the Colombians up just before halftime before Argentina, which is up to second in the qualifying table with seven points from three games, mounted its comeback.


Uruguay continued to show why many consider them one of the best teams in the world with a 1-0 victory over Italy in Rome. Sebastian Fernandez scored within the first five minutes for the understrength Uruguay side, and Italy was unable to find an equalizer despite having 20 shots. Uruguay is unbeaten in 2011 and have skyrocketed to fourth in the FIFA Rankings.


Germany was thoroughly dominant throughout a 3-0 shellacking of the Netherlands in a friendly matchup of top-five teams. Thomas Mueller, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil secured the goals for the Germans. The victory wraps up a stellar 2011 for Joachim Low’s side that included a perfect qualifying campaign for EURO 2012.


Canada wrapped up advancement into the next round of CONCACAF qualifying with a comfortable 4-0 victory over St. Kitts and Nevis during which Dwayne De Rosario scored his 19th international goal to pull even for Canada's all-time lead.

Group winners Panama, El Salvador and Guatemala cruised in their final games while Haiti and Trinidad & Tobago regained some pride with largely symbolic victories.


The world's most populous nation, China, saw its faint hopes for qualifying for its first World Cup since 2002 extinguished despite a 4-0 victory over Singapore. Australia, on the other hand, is already through to the next round along with Iraq and Iran.

Here's the scoreboard for all of Tuesday's international results:


Group A

El Salvador 4, Suriname 0

Group B

Trinidad & Tobago 2, Guyana 0

Group C

Panama 3, Dominica 0

Group D

Canada 4, St. Kitts and Nevis 0

Group E

Guatemala 4, Grenada 1
Belize 2, St. Vincent and Grenadines 0

Group F

Haiti 2, Antigua and Barbuda 1
Curaco 6, US Virgin Islands 1


Argentina 2, Colombia 1
Ecuador 2, Peru 0
Chile 2, Paraguay 0
Venezuela 1, Bolivia 0


Macedonia 0, Albania 0
Slovenia 2, United States 3
Ukraine 2, Austria 1
Denmark 2, Finland 1
Switzerland 1, Luxembourg 0
Romania 3, Greece 1
Poland 2, Hungary 1
Germany 3, The Netherlands 0
Uruguay 1, Italy 0
England 1, Sweden 0
France 0, Belgium 0
Costa Rica 2, Spain 2


Group A

China 4, Singapore 0
Iraq 3, Jordan 1

Group B

Lebanon 2, South Korea 1
Kuwait 2, United Arab Emirates 1

Group C

Uzbekistan 3, Tajikistan 0

Group D

Australia 1, Thailand 0
Saudi Arabia 0, Oman 0

Group E

Iran 4, Indonesia 1
Qatar 0, Bahrain 0


Madagascar 2, Equatorial Guinea 1
Kenya 4, Seychelles 0
Chad 1, Tanzania 0
Burundi 2, Lesotho 1
Rwanda 3, Eritrea 1
Congo 1, Sao Tome e Principe 1
Congo 5, Swaziland 1
Togo 1, Guinea-Bissau 0
Mozambique 4, Comoros Islands 1
Namibia 4, Djibouti 1


What did you think of yesterday's results? Are you reading anything into Spain's recent struggles? Do you think Uruguay will be a challenger in Brazil 2014?

Share your thoughts below.


  1. Yup that’s why they had a streak of 40 some odd victories in a row before the U.S. loss. The glamour of Spain is fading they aren’t the same team they were from 2008-2010. Not that they aren’t really good still but that dominating time has past

  2. Wow, all of a sudden SoccerbyIves turned into PoliticsbyIves (not Ives’ fault).
    Let’s go point by point:
    -Yes, China paid for the stadium in exchange for cutting ties with Taiwan. Commercial-wise, a better investment for the country, but political/democracy-wise, definitely a step back. Point Rory.
    -Yesterday’s friendly was organized and cashed in by a private company, not the local Federation. Friendlies with Argentina and Brazil paid for themselves with sell-out crowds of 35K that paid an average of $100 per ticket (yes, people in CR don’t earn as much and a lot will be in debt for some time).
    -CR’s unemployment: 7.7% (info released yesterday). US unemployment: 9%.
    Did you actually watch the game to say that about refs’ playcalling? If you read the Spanish media, you’ll realize Spain sucked during most part of the game, CR played well, could’ve scored at least 1 more, but crappy subs towards the end of the match and Iniesta’s magic touch resulted in the tie.

  3. These dates are set for official FIFA matches. Specifically Euro and WC qualifying. Teams that have byes or don’t have matches schedule matches against each other. There’s no league soccer anywhere beacue of this. National teams must as well take advantage of having camps.

  4. I guess the Chinese only paid for 80 minutes of calls from the refs… you’d think if you bought the stadium, paid for Spain, Argentina, and Brazil to come play in the new stadium, that you’d remember to pay the refs for the the entire game and not just 80 minutes. Oh well, as long as Costa Rica cut their ties with Taiwan the Chinese got what they wanted and the Costa Rican’s got a fancy new stadium and some cash and the dirty feeling of knowing that Chinese slave labor built the whole thing while Costa Rica suffers from really bad unemployment. Shame the Chinese couldn’t have done a better job with the field in Gabon for that stadium that built/donated in exchange for political favors.

  5. Too many damn friendlies. Friendlies should be reserved for 2months a year. January and November. Feb-October should be for qualifying and tournaments. Annoying when some nations have like 14 friendlies in 1 year

  6. germany is so good. granted, holland was without a lot of top players. but germany has just been so good.

    france and belgium tie 0-0. US lost to each 1-0. interesting way to look at it and realize it wasn’t all bad.

  7. Tough lose for Guinea-Bissau, but at least we only conceded one goal. Also, why in the world did Holland not play good. They were horrible and they were so boring playing.


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