Thursday, 4 March 2010


World Cup favourites Spain sent out a clear message to the football world last night with a clinical 2-0 victory in Paris against the 2006 runners-up.

Despite Raymond Domenech using the match to experiment with a new central defensive partnership, the class of the Spanish was evident throughout and the European Champions are rightfully favourites to land the 'big one' this summer.

Diego Maradona's Argentina, poor in qualifying, secured a morale-boosting victory against Germany in a heated encounter in Frankfurt thanks to a goal by Real Madrid striker Gonzalo Higuian on the stroke of half-time.

England, dogged in recent weeks by off-the-field scandals, came from a goal behind against African champions Egypt at Wembley to claim a 3-1 win, inspired by a brace from substitute Peter Crouch.

Holland saw off the USA 2-1 in Amsterdam, and World Champions Italy were held to a scoreless draw by African hopefuls Cameroon in Monaco.

The Ivory Coast, considered by many as dark horses for the tournament, suffered a surprise 2-0 reverse against 2002 semi-finalists South Korea.

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