Spain, Germany, Romania, Portugal win, France held

June 1st, 2008 - 2:25 pm ICT by admin  

Hamburg, June 1 (dpa) Euro 2008 finalists Germany, Spain, Romania and Portugal chalked up victories in test matches Saturday, a week ahead of the start of the European Championships. France were meanwhile held to a goalless draw by Paraguay and Croatia drew 1-1 with Hungary.

Portugal, the 2004 losing finalists, were 2-0 winners over Georgia in Viseu thanks to first-half goals from Joao Moutinho and Simao Sabrosa.

Moutinho volleyed the first from the edge of the area in the 19th minute while Sabrosa converted a penalty a minute before half-time after he had been brought down by goalkeeper Girogi Loria.

Portugal are in Group A at Euro 2008 along with Switzerland, Czech Republic and Turkey, their first opponents next Saturday in Geneva.

Record champions Germany came from behind to beat Serbia in Gelsenkirchen, with substitute Oliver Neuville and captain Michael Ballack scoring late goals.

“It was a good win for morale and self-confidence but we had to go right to our limits,” Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

Neuville came off the bench in the 70th minute to score from close range four minutes later and cancel out a 19th-minute goal from Bosko Jankovic.

Ballack clinched the win nine minutes later with a shot from the edge of the area following a free-kick.

Germany are in Group B against Poland, Austria and Croatia, who were held to a 1-1 draw by Hungary in Budapest.

“The Serbs were the right opponents for us because they have a similar playing style and mentality to Croatia,” Loew said.

“We’re pleased we managed to turn the game around and can take a couple of days off with a victory behind us.”

Veteran captain Niko Kovac put Croatia ahead in the 23rd minute of their match against Hungary before putting the ball into his own net in the 45th.

Spain defeated Peru 2-1 in Huelva thanks to a goal in stoppage time from Joan Capdevila.

David Villa gave Spain the lead in the 12th minute, only for Peru sub Hernan Rengifo to head an equalizer in the 73rd.

Spain are in Group D at Euro 2008 along with Russia, Greece and Sweden.

Romania enjoyed a 4-0 win over Montenegro in Bucharest thanks to a brace from Nicolae Dica in the 55th and 69th minutes following goals from Adrian Mutu (14) and Sorin Ghionea (50).

Romania’s first match at Euro 2008 is on June 9 against France who drew 0-0 with Paraguay in Toulouse. France have one more test when they face Colombia at St Denis, Paris Tuesday.

Also in Group C are world champions Italy, who defeated Belgium 3-1 Friday, and the Netherlands, who are in action on Sunday against Wales.

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