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Saturday, May 26, 2012

FOOTBALL : Netherlands and Germany beaten - Spain cruise to win

Netherlands have lost 1-2 to Bulgaria at the Amsterdam ArenA in Saturday's international friendly.

Van Persie gave Holland the lead in the dying seconds of the first half after a brilliant pass from Sneijder who spotted the forwards run cutting inside from the right and chipped the ball over the Bulgarian defence. Van Persie calmly placed the ball past the goalkeeper from 10 yards out.

Bulgaria equalised shortly after the interval. A cross from the right hit the sliding Van der Vaart on his arm, prompting the referee to award a spot kick. Popov stepped up to take it, and beat Tim Krul with a low shot through the middle.

And Bulgaria grabbed a winner deep into stoppage time to record victory. Manolev sent in a perfect cross for Mitsanski, who found the net with a good header from a narrow angle.

Germany fielded a weak side and paid the price when they were stunned by Switzerland, with the Swiss winning 5-3 in Basel.

The early momentum belonged to Germans, who had little trouble keeping play concentrated inside the Switzerland half. But Swiss striker Eren Derdiyok who plays his lcub football for Bayer Leverkusen in Germanyt, scored twice within two minutes to rattle the visitors.

Hummels pulled a goal back for Germany right on halftime with a header, but five minutes later Derdiyok rose highest to glance a free-kick and give Switzerland a 3-1 lead.

Germany pulled another goal back in the 65th minute after Schurrle scored from 25 yards out, but Lichtsteiner quickkly restored Switzwerland's two goal lead with another header.

Germany cut the score back to 3-4 with 18 minutes let to play when Draxler's initial effort from the left was parried by Ter Stegen, and Reus was first to the rebound, but five minutes later Switzerland ended the scoring with a wonderfully-worked free-kick which saw Gokhan Inler slip to Reto Ziegler on the overlap. His low drive rebounded off the post, but Mehmedi steadied himself to poke home the rebound.

Spain were too strong for Serbia winning 2-0 in St Gallen Switzerland, even with a host of stars on the bench.

An experimental Spain side looked good with Adrian Lopez impressing as a substitute on his senior debut. Spain introduced Adrian, David Silva, Benat and Alvaro Dominguez at the interval and immediately Spain increased their tempo, looking more dangerous in the final third.

Adrian opened the scoring in the 64th minute with a header form 6 yards before then winning a penalty for his team nine minutes later. Santi Cazorla stepped up to calmly grab Spain's second as they held on for a comfortable win.

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