Argentina gets upper hand

Damiao scored for Brazil in their 3-0 win over Sweden.

Lionel Messi missed a penalty but still got on the scoresheet as Argentina romped to a 3-1 victory in Germany today.

Germany had found themselves down to ten men after half an hour as goalkeeper Ron-Robert Zieler brought down Jose Sosa and conceded a penalty, but replacement ‘keeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen came on to deny Messi from the spot.

Argentina did take the lead on the stroke of half-time, but only as Sami Khedira directed the ball into his own net from Real Madrid team-mate Angel Di Maria’s corner.

Shortly after the break, Messi atoned for his penalty miss when he made it 2-0 from Gonzalo Higuain’s assist – and in the process became the first player since Gabriel Batistuta to score in five consecutive games for Argentina.

Di Maria then extended the advantage with a stunning strike from distance on 73 minutes, but Schalke centre-back Benedikt Howedes grabbed a consolation ten minutes later.

In another friendly, England edged out Italy 2-1 as both managers opted for experimental sides in a friendly in Berne. Phil Jagielka and Jermain Defoe scored for England, while Roma midfielder Daniele De Rossi netted for Italy.

A first-half header from Damiao and a late brace from Alexandre Pato earned Brazil a deserved 3-0 win over Sweden at Rasunda.

In other games Belgium defeated Netherlands 4-2; Scotland defeated Australia 3-1; Northern Ireland drew 3-3 with Finland; France drew 0-0 with Uruguay; Bosnia-Herzegovina beat Wales 2-0; and Serbia drew 0-0 with the Republic of Ireland.

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