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Friendlies round-up

Portugal suffered a surprise home defeat at the hands of Ecuador as Russia, Belgium and the Czech Republic all picked up wins in Wednesday's friendly action.

Last Updated: 06/02/13 at 23:16 Post Comment

Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored in Portugal's defeat by Ecuador

Cristiano Ronaldo: Scored in Portugal's defeat by Ecuador

Two early goals helped the Czech Republic heap more problems on struggling Turkey with a 2-0 friendly win at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

Ladislav Krejci opened the scoring in the fourth minute and David Lafata added a second in the 28th minute as the Czechs took the honours.

For Turkey, the defeat is the latest in a series of disappointing results which has seen the Euro 2008 semi-finalists win just one of their last seven matches.

The Czechs resume their bid to reach Brazil 2014 next month against a Denmark side who have yet to win in three Group B matches and crashed to a 3-0 friendly defeat to FYR Macedonia, all three goals coming in the opening half-hour.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, who lead Group G on goal difference from Greece, were 3-0 friendly winners over Slovenia, while Dusan Tadic netted a brace as Serbia defeated Cyprus 3-1.

Ukraine were 2-0 victors over Norway, Azerbaijan downed Liechtenstein 1-0, and Hungary drew 1-1 with Belarus.

Dries Mertens netted a 90th-minute winner as Belgium beat Slovakia 2-1, the goal coming three minutes after the visitors' Ricaard Lasik had levelled up an early penalty from Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard.

Elsewhere, Romania scored twice late on to beat Australia 3-2, Japan beat Latvia 3-0, Greece drew 0-0 with Switzerland and Georgia defeated Albania 2-1.

Russia, who boast arguably the most impressive record so far from a European side in World Cup qualifying with four wins from four and no goals conceded, were also victorious with a 2-0 win over Finland.

However, the Russians' Group F rivals Portugal did not have such a successful evening as they were beaten 3-2 by Ecuador in Guimaraes.

Ecuador, who are second behind Argentina in the South American World Cup qualifying group, went ahead after just two minutes through Manchester United winger Antonio Valencia but Portugal hit back with goals from Cristiano Ronaldo and Helder Postiga to lead 2-1 heading into the final half-hour.

Postiga's 58th-minute effort was cancelled out almost immediately by a Joao Pereira own goal, though, and former Manchester City striker Felipe Caicedo netted what would turn out to be the winning goal for Ecuador 20 minutes from time.

Also on Wednesday night, Israel beat Finland 2-1 and Chile defeated Egypt by the same scoreline.

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may well get slated by other United fans for this, but out of the three contenders, I'd far prefer Liverpool to win the title. Yes some elements of their fanbase can be a bit OTT, yes they're our biggest rivals and yes it will make our poor season feel even more like the end of an era (Fergie's gone, Liverpool are back on top). However I just have to applaud Brendan Rodgers and the way he's turned Liverpool around in just a couple of seasons. It...

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ooray! We are all excited now, we beat a very mediocre team! With all due respect to WHU supporters, not winning that game shouldn't even be a consideration. This is the problem, there is no winning mentality at the Emirates - we're all congratulating ourselves beating a team that we have a winning record against.

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Wenger hails important win

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s this meant to be an aspiration for United supporters? Moyes mediocrity strikes again. I see the Bayern boys don't want to sign for him, and his reputation amongst the senior European coaches make other key signings unlikely.

redbornandbred
De Gea's Europa League target

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