Forgot Password

 

Register

 

Create your Connect ID

This will allow you to login to all DStv websites & applications




or
Login using
x

Email Reset

 




Loading...
Loading Live Scoring...
*All times CAT (GMT+2)

Football | International

Zlatan Ibrahimovic © Action Images

Ibra scores four, no Messi record



Zlatan Ibrahimovic christened Sweden's new stadium with a sprinkling of gold on Wednesday, scoring three classy goals and an unforgettable one in a 4-2 friendly win over England, while Argentina's Lionel Messi drew a blank in Riyadh.

With only a handful of low-key World Cup qualifiers on the fixture list, coaches of some of the likely favourites for the trophy in Brazil in 2014 got a last chance this year to cast an eye over their squads in a raft of friendlies.

World champions Spain beat Panama 5-1 in Panama City, the Netherlands and Germany drew 0-0 in Amsterdam, France won 2-1 in Italy and Messi's Argentina were held 0-0 by Saudi Arabia but it was Sweden's victory in Stockholm that stole the limelight.

Ibrahimovic gave Sweden the advantage with an instinctive finish but after an experimental England, who gave debuts to six players, took a 2-1 halftime lead the Paris St Germain striker provided a grandstand finale to a lively friendly.

He equalised with a shot after a beautiful piece of chest control, slammed in a low free kick to put the Swedes ahead but saved the best until last with an acrobatic overhead kick from 25 metres to raise the roof of the Friends Arena.

"Ibrahimovic's performance was certainly world-class. Credit to him, he scored one of the best goals I've ever seen live. It was his night," England captain Steven Gerrard told ITV on the night of his 100th international cap.

Sweden coach Erik Hamren told a news conference: "The last one? You might never see that again in your life. Unbelievable, really."

This video is not available in your region

England had looked on course for a first away win against Sweden since 1965 after goals from Danny Welbeck and debutant Steven Caulker but slipped to their first defeat in 90 minutes since manager Roy Hodgson took over in May.

Hodgson's team, who will continue their World Cup qualifying campaign in March with work to do after tiny Balkan nation Montenegro went top of their group with a 3-0 victory over San Marino on Wednesday, gave starting places to debutants Raheem Sterling, Leon Osman and Caulker.

Germany, whose last match was a 4-4 World Cup qualifying draw with Sweden, kept a clean sheet in the Netherlands in a friendly the visitors dominated.

GOMIS WINNER

"Both teams played a solid game," Germany captain Philipp Lahm said. "We did not allow too many chances at the back and that was positive.

"If you draw 4-4 in your previous game it is important your defence is safer next time."

Pedro scored twice for European champions Spain while David Villa and Sergio Ramos were also on the scoresheet against lowly Panama.

Bafetimbi Gomis came off the bench to give France victory in Parma against Euro 2012 runners-up Italy.

Mario Balotelli set up Stephan El Shaarawy to put Italy ahead with his first goal for his country but France hit back almost immediately with a superb strike from Mathieu Valbuena.

Messi failed in his bid to set an outright record for the most Argentina goals in a calendar year.

Saudi goalkeeper Waleed Abdullah did well to keep out substitute Augusto Fernandez and Messi, who shares the Argentina record of 12 goals in a year with Gabriel Batistuta.

Former Cold War rivals Russia and the United States met for the first time on a soccer pitch since 2000, drawing 2-2 in Krasnodar where Mix Diskerud grabbed an equaliser for the Americans deep into stoppage time.

Highly-rated Belgium got a reality check as they lost 2-1 in a friendly in Romania while Poland were beaten 3-1 at home by Uruguay with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both scoring.

Serbia overcame Chile 3-1 in Switzerland after which Chile's coach Claudio Borghi was fired.

Almost unnoticed, Montenegro stole in to go top of World Cup Group H qualifying with a comfortable win over whipping boys San Marino. Their 3-0 victory put them two points above England with 10 points from four matches.

Northern Ireland needed a last-minute equaliser to claim a 1-1 draw at home to Azerbaijan in Group F.

Shop

Gerrard: My Autobiography
Steven Gerrard is a hero to millions, not only as the inspirational captain of Liverpool FC, but as a key member of the England team.
R152.00
Rafa: My Story
Revelatory memoir from the greatest sportsman in the world today.
R182.00
FIFA 14
Xbox 360
R549.00
Mitre Ultimatch Soccer Ball - White
A high quality football, offering high performance at both training and during football matches.
R252.00


Comments

More expert analysis and opinion from Sport24
The opinions expressed by Sport24 experts and bloggers are theirs alone, and do not necessarily represent those of SuperSport

Live Video Streaming

Sports Talk



Carol Radull
Where are Kenya's strikers?
I was watching the English Premier League match between Everton and Chelsea on Saturday night and...

Calvin Emeka Onwuka
Spurs will challenge for the title
It was in my room in Rustenburg, during the last Afcon, that I noticed the style that Mauricio...

John Dykes
United in condemnation
The British football press showed tremendous solidarity this week when they all leaped on the same...

Neil Tovey
Borrowing from best practice
The late Irish scribe and poet Oscar Wilde once famously opined that “youth is wasted on the...

Sunday Oliseh
Man U need more than an 'Angel'
Just two games into the English Premier League and Manchester United are five points (synonymous to...

Arjun Vidyarthi
Good signs for the Reds despite loss
A brace from Stevan Jovetic and a Sergio Aguero stunner ensured that Manchester City took all three...