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Spain gets better of Uruguay in friendly

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Spain gets better of Uruguay in friendly

A brace from Barcelona\’s Pedro Rodriguez helped world and European champion Spain beat Uruguay 3-1 in a friendly on Wednesday.

Fielding a lineup that featured nine Barcelona players, Spain had the bulk of the early possession and the best chances in the match in Doha. It took the lead in the 16th minute when a long strike from Cesc Fabregas went through the hands of Uruguay keeper Fernando Muslera.

Uruguay drew level in the 32nd minute when Cristian Rodriguez got behind two defenders and took a pass from Martin Caceres.

But in the second half, it was all Spain. Pedro gave Spain the lead in the 51st after taking a pass from substitute Gerard Pique, and added his second 24 minutes later.

Czech Republic 2, Turkey 0

ANKARA, Turkey — First-half goals by Ladislav Krejci and David Lafata on Wednesday gave the Czech Republic a 2-0 victory over Turkey in a friendly.

Krejci opened the scoring in the fourth minute from a quick attack led by Tomas Rosicky and Vladimir Darida.

In the 28th, Lafata guided Darida\’s fierce shot into the net to double the lead.

Turkey came close to scoring in the 30th with a free kick that was tipped over the bar by Czech goalkeeper Jan Lastuvka.

The home team came out with far more resolve in the second half and had several near misses, with a shot by Umut Bulut cleared off the line in the 70th.

England 2, Brazil 1

LONDON — Luiz Felipe Scolari made an unsuccessful return as Brazil coach on Wednesday as a 23-year unbeaten record against England ended with a 2-1 loss at Wembley Stadium.

Fred cancelled out Wayne Rooney\’s opener for England at the start of the second half, but Frank Lampard curled the match-winner in off the post on the hour.

Beating the five-time world champions for the first time since 1990 will raise English expectations as they try to ensure they qualify for the World Cup in Brazil next year.

Italy 1, Netherlands 1

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Marco Verratti scored a 92nd minute equalizer as Italy salvaged a 1-1 draw against an experimental Netherlands team in a friendly on Wednesday.

Jeremain Lens gave the Netherlands a deserved lead in the 33rd minute and Italy did not look capable of clawing its way back into the match until a frenetic final few minutes were capped by Verratti\’s close-range strike.

AC Milan striker Mario Balotelli, described this week by Silvio Berlusconi\’s brother as his family\’s \”little black boy,\” had a quiet night, his only clear-cut chance coming on the half hour when he controlled a well-weighted ball from Andrea Pirlo on his chest but fired wide from the edge of the penalty area.

He was substituted after an hour.

Switzerland 0, Greece 0

PIRAEUS, Greece — Switzerland held Greece to a 0-0 draw in a friendly match on Wednesday that saw few scoring chances.

Ricardo Rodriguez almost broke the deadlock with nine minutes remaining at Karaiskaki Stadium, but Greece goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis blocked his long-range shot.

Switzerland\’s Johan Djourou had a goal disallowed in the 34th minute, while Costas Mitroglou missed two first-half headers for Greece.

Deputy captain Costas Katsouranis made his 100th appearance for Greece.

Greece is currently level with Bosnia in Group G with 10 points from four matches in World Cup qualifying, and the two countries face one another on March 22. Switzerland leads Group E, also with 10 points, and travels to Cyprus for its next game.

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