Five stand-out moments from the weekend’s football
1 – Germany end winless run
Defending World Cup champions Germany ended their poor run of form with a narrow 2-1 victory over Saudi Arabia on Friday. Germany’s last win was against Azerbaijan in a World Cup qualifier in October last year, they drew three and lost two of their five matches since. But they finally chalked up their first win of 2018 despite some hairy moments. Timo Werner put them in front with a shot in off the crossbar and an own goal from Omar Hawsawi doubled the lead before the break. However, Taisir Al Jassim got one back for the Saudis when he scored the rebound from a late penalty and the visitors were denied a chance to level when Mat Hummels’ goal line tackle avoided conceding another penalty.
2 – Spain are unbeaten in 20-matches
Substitute Iago Aspas scored 6-minutes from time for Spain to steal a 1-0 win over Tunisia in their final warm-up in Krasnodar at the weekend. Tunisia denied the 2010 World Cup winners a shot on target for 65-minutes, but ultimately suffered their first defeat in ten. The victory for Spain means they enter the World Cup unbeaten in their last twenty matches, their last defeat came against Italy in the knockout phase of Euro 2016. Spain will face Portugal in their first World Cup 2018 match, while Tunisia take on England.
3 – France frustrated by USA
France were left frustrated after drawing their final warm-up game 1-1 with visitors USA in Lyon on Saturday. The hosts had the lion’s share of possession but fell behind to Julian Green’s 44th minute strike. Kylian Mbappe drew level in the 78th minute but a young USA side soaked up the pressure to hold on for the draw, with 23-year-old goalkeeper Zack Steffen having a standout performance making seven saves.
4 – Serbia smash Bolivia 5-1
Newcastle striker Aleksander Mitrovic contributed a hat-trick to Serbia’s 5-1 win over Bolivia on Saturday. The 23-year-old has been on loan at Fulham since February, where he scored 12 goals for the Championship side helping them to promotion back into the Premier League. On Saturday, he opened the scoring after 4-minutes play before Adam Ljajic doubled the lead. Mitrovic’s second and a goal from Branislav Ivanovic made it 4-0 before the break. Jhasmani Campos got one back for Bolivia shortly into the second-half and Mitrovic completed his hat-trick in the 68th minute. Bolivia failed to qualify for the World Cup and Serbia will take on Costa Rica in their first group match.
5 – Brazil beat Austria 3-0
Brazil are now eleven games unbeaten after winning their final warm-up match 3-0 over Austria in Vienna on Sunday. Gabriel Jesus scored the only goal of the first-half after he picked up the pieces of Marcelo’s long-range effort in the 36th minute. Neymar made his first start since February and slotted in the second just after an hour’s play, and Phillipe Coutinho combined with former Liverpool teammate Roberto Firmino to make it 3-0. Austria haven’t played in World Cup since 1998 and failed to make it to Russia this year. Brazil will clash with Switzerland in their first match of the tournament on Sunday.