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Sep 4, 2014

France edge Spain as Italy see off Netherlands

France had all the chances of the match and recorded a deserved 1-0 victory over Spain in Paris through substitute, Loic Remy's second-half strike.

Spain's rebuilding following their dismal World Cup got off to a bad start as France were barely tested on the way to a 1-0 win in their friendly on Thursday.

- Deschamps pleased with France victory

France had an effort from Karim Benzema ruled out for offside early in the second half and scored the winning goal in the 72nd minute when winger Mathieu Valbuena set up substitute Loic Remy for his sixth international goal.

Spain had to wait until the 83rd to produce a shot of any menace as David Silva's effort drifted just wide, but otherwise La Roja failed to hit the target once.

Antonio Conte enjoyed a fine start as Italy boss after his side beat World Cup semifinalists Netherlands 2-0.

Ciro Immobile scored his first international goal three minutes in, and Daniele De Rossi added a penalty in the 10th.

The opening goal was set up by a long, vertical pass from defender Leonardo Bonucci, which Immobile controlled expertly then dribbled around goalkeeper Jasper Cillessen before slotting into an empty net.

The penalty was awarded after Bruno Martins Indi was sent off for pushing down Simone Zaza, and De Rossi converted a soft shot into the left corner as Cillessen dove the other way.

The Netherlands rarely threatened at San Nicola Stadium.

Belgium built on their World Cup momentum with a 2-0 victory over Australia.

Belgium turned their dominance into a goal in the 18th minute. Kevin De Bruyne hit the woodwork and the rebound eventually fell to Dries Mertens, who miscued an angled shot that ricocheted in over goalkeeper Matthew Ryan. Axel Witsel doubled the score in the 78th minute with a long-distance drive.

Australia played aggressively and were lucky to escape with only one yellow card to Mathew Leckie.

Romelu Lukaku and Eden Hazard missed the game because of slight injuries but Vincent Kompany shrugged off a strain to feature in the match.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic reached 50 international goals during the victory over Estonia to become Sweden's all-time leading scorer.

Zlatan Ibrahimovic netted a brace as Sweden beat Estonia 2-0 at Solna's Friends Arena.

Ibrahimovic fired home the opener after just three minutes when a corner was headed into his path, and he added a second in the 24th minute to complete the win.

The goal took his tally to 50 goals in 99 games, establishing the Paris Saint-Germain star as Sweden's all-time leading scorer.

Bosnia-Herzegovina eased to a 3-0 victory at home to minnows Liechtenstein.

Vedad Ibisevic fired home the opener inside the opening minute in Tuzla, and the Stuttgart striker added his second on 14 minutes.

Manchester City star Edin Dzeko then rounded off the scoring with a magnificent solo effort on 24 minutes.

Croatia saw off Cyprus 2-0 thanks to goals in each half from Atletico Madrid striker Mario Mandzukic.

China came from behind to defeat Kuwait 3-1 at Guangzhou's Tianhe Stadium.

Khaled Hajiah headed home a corner to give Kuwait the lead at the end of the first half, but Yang Xu and Hanchao Yu put China ahead and, despite Hang Ren being shown a second yellow card with 15 minutes to play, the hosts extended their lead after a late break from Lei Wu.

Belarus thrashed 10-man Tajikistan 6-1, with the early dismissal of Naim Ulmasov proving costly for the visitors at Minsk's Dinamo Stadium, while Slovakia saw off Malta 1-0 thanks to Adam Nemec's goal before the break.

Uzbekistan secured a 2-0 victory at home to Jordan, while Peru won 2-0 against Iraq in Dubai.

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