Five stand-out moments from the weekend’s football
1 – England beat Nigeria 2-1
England won 2-1 hosting Nigeria at Wembley in their penultimate warm-up match before the World Cup in Russia. Gary Cahill’s headed opened the scoring 7-minutes in and captain Harry Kane doubled the lead in a first-half dominated by the Three Lions. Alex Iwobi got one back for Nigeria shortly after the restart and England were more passive in the second-half but held on to the lead. Raheem Sterling, who has been the subject of much press attention in the past week, received a yellow card for diving when he went to ground too easily in front of the Nigerian goal. Gareth Southgate’s England side remain unbeaten in their last nine matches and will take on Costa Rica next in another friendly on Thursday.
2 – John O’Shea signs off international duty with 2-1 win over USA
Sunderland defender John O’Shea featured in his last international game on Saturday in the Republic of Ireland’s 2-1 win over USA. Receiving his 118th cap, O’Shea was substituted in the 33rd minute to a standing ovation and rapturous applause. Visitors USA then went 1-0 up courtesy of Bobby Wood in the first minute of first-half stoppage. However, the boys in green equalised through Graham Burke after the break and Alan Judge’s 90th minute goal ended a poor run of games and got them their first win in five.
3 – Austria beat Germany 2-1
Defending world champions Germany were 1-0 up by half-time thanks to Mesut Ozil taking advantage of a goalkeeper mistake in their friendly clash with Austria on Saturday. The game also saw the return of goalkeeper Manuel Neuer, who was back in action after recovering from a broken foot. Eight minutes into the second-half Austria were back on level terms after Martin Hinteregger’s volley and Alessandro Schopf got the winner with 20-minutes left on the clock. The victory marks the first time Austria have beaten Germany in over 30-years and extends the German’s winless run, who have now drawn three and lost two of their last five friendly matches.
4 – Spain held to draw with Switzerland
These two last met in the group stage of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010, where Switzerland served up the first upset of that competition with a shock 1-0 win over the Spaniards. On Sunday the pair met again for a friendly in Villarreal and Alvaro Odriozola’s impressive edge of the box volley put the home side ahead just before 30-minutes play. However, the Swiss equalised through AC Milan left-back Ricardo Rodriguez just after the hour mark and saw the game out to secure a draw. Switzerland will take on Japan on Friday and Spain will meet with Tunisia on Saturday. If the Spaniards avoid defeat in that final warm-up game they’ll enter the World Cup in Russia unbeaten in their last 20 matches.
5 – Brazil beat Croatia 2-0
PSG striker Neymar marked his return from injury by scoring the opener in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Croatia at Anfield on Sunday. The 26-year-old, who has been out of action since February, was substituted on after a first-half in which Brazil had to weather a belligerent Croatian side. Linking up with Philippe Coutinho, Neymar displayed his customary confidence and control to give his country the lead and Liverpool’s Roberto Firmino sealed the victory in the 93rd minute by scoring his 15th goal at Anfield this term.