Czechs ease past Turkey, Spain defeat Uruguay
© AFP

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

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 UEFA EURO 2008 semi-finalists win just one of their last seven matches.

They have earned just three points from their opening four 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil™ qualifying matches and are nine points behind Group D leaders Netherlands heading into March's double-header against Andorra and Hungary.

The Czechs resume their bid to qualify for the FIFA World Cup 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 tonight, all three goals coming in the opening half-hour.

Spain warmed up for their potentially crucial FIFA World Cup qualifying double-header against Finland and France with a 3-1 win over Copa America champions Uruguay in Doha.

Cesc Fabregas' early goal was wiped out by a Cristian Rodriguez equaliser but a second-half brace from Pedro Rodriguez earned Spain the victory in a match which saw defender Carles Puyol make his 100th appearance for the reigning World and European champions.

Germany comes back, late goals salvage Italy and Belgium
Germany came from behind to beat France for the first time since 1987 with a 2-1 win in Paris. Mathieu Valbuena provided the finishing touch to a dramatic, action-packed first half by putting Les Bleus in front, but Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira turned the tables in the second 45 minutes as Germany started the year with a win.

A stoppage-time equaliser from substitute Marco Verratti earned Italy a 1-1 draw from their friendly with Holland at the Amsterdam Arena, with the hosts having taken a 33rd-minute lead through Jeremain Lens.

Another late goal helped Belgium earn a 2-1 win over Slovakia. Dries Mertens netted a 90th-minute winner for the Belgians, three minutes after Slovakia's Ricaard Lasik had levelled up an early penalty from Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard.

Five-time world champions Brazil slumped to a 2-1 defeat to England at Wembley, with Frank Lampard netting a 60th-minute winner for the hosts after Fred had cancelled out Wayne Rooney's 27th-minute opener. Veteran playmaker Ronaldinho had seen an 18th-minute penalty saved by England goalkeeper Joe Hart, as Brazil lost to England for the first time since 1990.

Argentina, meanwhile, were 3-2 winners at Sweden in a match which produced an action-packed start with four goals scored in the opening 23 minutes. An own goal from Mikael Lustig put Argentina ahead in the third minute but West Bromwich Albion defender Jonas Olsson drew Sweden level in the 17th minute.

Two goals in four minutes from Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain soon after earned the South Americans the victory, with Rasmus Elm's late strike nothing more than a consolation.

Tadic brace sees Serbia past Cyprus
Bosnia-Herzegovina, who lead Group G on goal difference from Greece, were 3-0 friendly winners over Slovenia tonight, while Dusan Tadic netted a brace as Serbia defeated Cyprus 3-1 and Croatia saw off the challenge of South Korea 4-0.

Russia, who boast arguably the most impressive record so far from a European side in FIFA World Cup qualifying with four wins from four and no goals conceded, were also victorious tonight 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 FIFA 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.

In other early kick-offs, Ukraine were 2-0 victors over Norway, Azerbaijan downed Liechtenstein 1-0, Malta drew 0-0 with Northern Ireland and Hungary tied 1-1 with Belarus. 

Elsewhere, Romania scored twice late on to beat Australia 3-2, Wales saw off Austria 2-1, Scotland downed Estonia 1-0, Republic of Ireland were 2-0 victors over Poland, Japan beat Latvia 3-0, Greece drew 0-0 with Switzerland, Georgia defeated Albania 2-1, Israel beat Finland 2-1 and Chile defeated Egypt by the same scoreline.

Goals across Latin America
Richard Ortiz recorded a brace in the second half as Paraguay defeated El Salvador 3-0 in Asuncion.

Olimpia midfielder Ortiz consolidated Paraguay's win by netting in the 55th and 61st minutes, with Pablo Aguilar opening the scoring shortly before half-time.

Claudio Pizarro and Rinaldo Cruzado gave Peru a 2-0 win over hosts Trinidad & Tobago, while Bolivia edged out Haiti 2-1 with Carlos Saucedo and Gualberto Mojica netting one in each half.

Colombia hammered Guatemala 4-1, with Jackson Martinez scoring two goals and Abel Aguilar and Luis Muriel netting one each. Jose Contreras scored a late consolation from the penalty spot.