France shine, Germany moan even as Ronaldo rattles Spain in Europe

Friday, October 9th, 2020 00:00 |
Spain’s midfielder Adama Traore (centre) vies for the ball against Portugal’s defender Nelson Semedo (left) and forward Diogo Jota during their friendly match at the Jose Alvalade stadium in Lisbon on Wednesday night. Photo/AFP

Paris, Thursday

France’s 7-1 thrashing of Ukraine was the pick of the European friendlies on Wednesday as Spain clung on for a draw in Lisbon and Turkey saved pride with a late goal against Germany in Cologne.

At the Stade de France it was teenager Eduardo Camavinga and veteran Olivier Giroud inflicting much of the damage for Didier Deschamps’ world champions on Covid-19 hit Ukraine.

The 17-year-old Camavinga put himself on the map becoming the youngest man to score for France in over a century with an audacious overhead flick for the ninth minute opener.

Deschamps made Giroud captain for his 100th appearance and in return the Chelsea forward scored a first-half brace that left him on 42 international goals, just nine short of Thiery Henry on 51.

“Well that’s two more in the bag and it was already quite a significant haul wasn’t it,” said Deschamps, who has persisted with Giroud over the years when France seemed to be coming down with top strikers.

“I’ll just carry on and see how far it goes,” said Giroud, 34.

PSG’s Kylian Mbappe, Bayern Munich’s Corentin Tolisso and Barcelona striker Antoine Griezmann were also on the mark with fine strikes. 

Ukraine’s team had been so ravaged by injury and the coronavirus they included a 45-year-old coach as second ‘keeper for the night.

European champions in 2016 Portugal return to the Stade de France in the Nations League on Sunday and used a friendly with their Iberian rivals Spain to warm up.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Renato Sanchez both struck the woodwork for Portugal, who then should have won it in injury-time only for Joao Felix to miskick at the back post. 

Spain were the better team early on at the Jose Alvalade stadium and also went close.

“I think we were better than Portugal,” said Spain coach Luis Enrique. “For sure they had two shots on the break that hit the bar and one that Kepa saved but we had chances as well.” 

Both sit top of their Nations League groups, Portugal with maximum points after beating Croatia and Sweden while Spain have four after thrashing Ukraine and drawing with Germany.

Germany coach Joachim Loew bemoaned his side’s inability to hold on to a lead after they conceded a last-gasp equaliser in a thrilling 3-3 draw against Turkey.

Stuttgart-born Kenan Karaman bundled in a late leveller against the country of his birth as Turkey fought back from behind three times to snatch a draw and leave Loew scratching his head.

“I’m disappointed and frustrated. We have had this problem for a while, and the same thing happened in other games,” the Germany coach told broadcaster RTL. -AFP

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