A pair of poignant spectacles paced Tuesday’s international friendlies, though the remaining games brought plenty of on-field electricity, too.
Portugal 2-1 Belgium
Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo scored first half goals, but that was far from the minds of many as Belgium hosted its first match since last week’s disturbing terrorist attacks. Romelu Lukaku pulled one back for the Red Devils in the 62nd minute.
France 4-2 Russia
The last time Stade de France hosted a game, the air was bombarded by the sound of explosions in the distance as ISIL attacked the French capital.
The French team returned home Tuesday, and recorded a memorable win thanks to goals by N'Golo Kante, Andre Gignac, Dimitri Payet and Kingsley Coman (Andrei Kokorin and Yuri Zhirkov scored for the visitors). The goals were birthday tallies for Premier League stars Kante and Payet.
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Payet’s goal was especially dynamic, something we’ve come to expect from the West Ham man.
Dimitri Payet celebrated his birthday with this incredible free kick: https://t.co/XqhcOiSKao (U.S. only)
— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) March 29, 2016
Germany 4-1 Italy
Die Mannschaft made up for its come-from-ahead loss to England by beating the Italians for the first time in more than two decades. Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, Jonas Hector and Mesut Ozil all scored for Germany, while Stephen El Shaarawy scoring a gorgeous consolation goal late in the contest.
England 1-2 Netherlands
Jamie Vardy scored another goal for the Three Lions, but a Danny Rose handball put Vincent Janssen on the spot. The AZ Alkmaar striker converted his chance to make it 1-1 before assisting on Luciano Narsingh’s winner. England complained that Janssen had fouled Phil Jagielka in the build-up, to no avail.
Greece 2-3 Iceland
Ireland 2-2 Slovakia
Austria 1-2 Turkey
Norway 2-0 Finland
Scotland 1-0 Denmark
Switzerland 0-2 Bosnia & Herzegovina
Sweden 1-1 Czech Republic
Georgia 1-1 Kazakhstan
Estonia 0-1 Serbia
Montenegro 0-0 Belarus
Gibraltar 0-5 Latvia
Luxembourg 0-2 Albania