A roundup of international friendlies featuring 2018 World Cup-bound national teams on Tuesday…
Germany 2-2 France
In what could very well be a preview of the World Cup final next summer, Germany and France traded blows on Tuesday, as the home side came from a goal behind on two occasions to draw Les Bleus, 2-2.
Arsenal’s Alexandre Lacazette put France ahead just after the half-hour mark, courtesy of Manchester United attacker Anthony Martial‘s assist, but Timo Werner, who over the last 18 months has played himself into serious consideration for the starting job at center forward, equalized in the 56th minute.
Lacazette made it 2-1 in the 71st, but Lars Stindl, the other late emergence of this cycle, brought the defending world champions level once again in the 92nd minute.
Russia 3-3 Spain
Sergio Ramos scored twice (both times from the penalty spot) and Jordi Alba provided another for Spain, but Julen Lopeteguia’s side gave all three goals back to a Russian side which hasn’t played a competitive fixture since EURO 2016, and hasn’t fared well at all in recent friendlies.
Alba’s opener came after nine minutes, followed in the 35th by Ramos’ first penalty kick. Six minutes into the second half, it was 2-2 after Fedor Smolov and Aleksey Miranchuk scored either side of halftime. Three minutes later, Ramos converted another from the penalty spot, only so see Smolov hit back for Russia’s third in the 70th minute.
Having opted to play his first-choice backline, Lopeteguia might have a few small concerns following the final international break of 2017.
Argentina 2-4 Nigeria
Speaking of shoddy defending, Argentina conceded four against fellow World Cup qualifiers Nigeria.
The big story coming out of this game, though, is the health of Aguero, after he fainted in the locker room at halftime. He reportedly “got dizzy and had to leave,” and was taken to a nearby hospital, but quickly rejoined his national teammates and is expected to once again be available for selection for Manchester City.
China 0-4 Colombia
Felipe Pardo, Carlos Bacca and Miguel Borja (times two) made sure Colombia bounced back immediately following their loss to South Korea over the weekend. Notably absent for Colombia was James Rodriguez, who departed camp before Tuesday’s game and returned to Bayern Munich.
Elsewhere in int’l friendlies
England 0-0 Brazil
Belgium 1-0 Japan
Austria 2-1 Uruguay
South Korea 1-1 Serbia
Qatar 1-1 Iceland
Hungary 1-0 Costa Rica
Wales 1-1 Panama