sport

Germany, Spain and Argentina win

Germany beat France 2-1, Italy drew 1-1 in Holland, while there were wins for Spain and Argentina in Wednesday's international friendlies.

Two early goals helped the Czech Republic heap more problems on struggling Turkey with a 2-0 friendly win at the Ataturk Olympic Stadium.

Ladislav Krejci opened the scoring in the fourth minute and David Lafata added a second in the 28th minute as the Czechs took the honours.

For Turkey, the defeat is the latest in a series of disappointing results which has seen the Euro 2008 semi-finalists win just one of their last seven matches.

They have earned just three points from their opening four World Cup qualifying matches and are nine points behind Group D leaders Holland heading into March's double-header against Andorra and Hungary.

The Czechs resume their bid to reach Brazil 2014 next month against a Denmark side who have yet to win in three Group B matches and crashed to a 3-0 friendly defeat to FYR Macedonia, all three goals coming in the opening half-hour.

Spain warmed up for their potentially crucial World Cup qualifying double-header against Finland and France with a 3-1 win over Copa America champions Uruguay in Doha.

Cesc Fabregas' early goal was wiped out by a Cristian Rodriguez equaliser but a second-half brace from Pedro Rodriguez earned Spain the victory in a match which saw defender Carles Puyol make his 100th appearance for the reigning world and European champions.

Bosnia-Herzegovina, who lead Group G on goal difference from Greece, were 3-0 friendly winners over Slovenia, while Dusan Tadic netted a brace as Serbia defeated Cyprus 3-1 and Croatia saw off the challenge of South Korea 4-0.

In other early kick-offs, Ukraine were 2-0 victors over Norway, Azerbaijan downed Liechtenstein 1-0 and Hungary tied 1-1 with Belarus.

Germany came from behind to beat France for the first time since 1987 with a 2-1 win in Paris.

Mathieu Valbuena provided the finishing touch to a dramatic, action-packed first half by putting Les Bleus in front, but Thomas Muller and Sami Khedira turned the tables in the second 45 minutes as Germany started the year with a win.

Argentina, meanwhile, were 3-2 winners at Sweden in a match which produced an action-packed start with four goals scored in the opening 23 minutes.

An own goal from Mikael Lustig put Argentina ahead in the third minute but West Brom defender Jonas Olsson drew Sweden level in the 17th minute.

Two goals in four minutes from Manchester City forward Sergio Aguero and Real Madrid's Gonzalo Higuain soon after earned the South Americans the victory, with Rasmus Elm's late strike nothing more than a consolation.

A stoppage-time equaliser from substitute Marco Verratti earned Italy a 1-1 draw from their friendly with Holland at the Amsterdam Arena, with the hosts having taken a 33rd-minute lead through Jeremain Lens.

Another late goal helped Belgium earn a 2-1 win over Slovakia. Dries Mertens netted a 90th-minute winner for the Belgians, three minutes after Slovakia's Ricaard Lasik had levelled up an early penalty from Chelsea playmaker Eden Hazard.

Elsewhere, Romania scored twice late on to beat Australia 3-2, Japan beat Latvia 3-0, Greece drew 0-0 with Switzerland and Georgia defeated Albania 2-1.

And finally, Portugal suffered a surprise 3-2 defeat at home to Ecuador, with Antonio Valencia opening the scoring for the visitors and former Premier League players Cristiano Ronaldo and Helder Postiga on target for the hosts.