France beat Italy 3-1 in an entertaining friendly at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari as the two t...
France beat Italy 3-1 in an entertaining friendly at the Stadio San Nicola in Bari as the two teams prepare to begin their qualification campaigns for the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Anthony Martial got the scoring started for Didier Deschamps' side in the 17th minute, beating Gianluigi Buffon from 18 yards out after Paul Pogba's through ball set him free behind the Italian defence.
However, France's lead wouldn't last, as Eder's hard-charging run down the right flank and cross into the box found Graziano Pelle, who calmly controlled the ball and scored from six yards out.
Anthony Martial celebrates after scoring a goal for France in a friendly match against Italy.
A poor clearance from Italy following a set piece minutes later was headed back into the penalty area by Layvin Kurzawa and Olivier Giroud volleyed first time to put France ahead 2-1.
Kurzawa's strong showing for France continued, as the Paris Saint-Germain defender scored a late insurance goal to reach the final 3-1 scoreline.
The match was the first in charge for Italy manager Giampiero Ventura, who took over for the departed Antonio Conte. He'll lead the Azzurri into their first qualifier away to Israel on Sept. 5, while France travel to Belarus the following day.
David Silva scored twice as Spain beat Belgium 2-0 in Brussels.
The Manchester City midfielder picked up a nice cut-back pass from Vitolo in the 34th minute and slotted home first-time between three Belgium defenders and Thibaut Courtois.
Silva was at it again in the 62nd minute, beating Courtois from the penalty spot after Jordan Lukaku fouled Vitolo in the area.
Spain play Liechtenstein to open World Cup qualification on Sept. 5, while Belgium travel to Cyprus to start their quest for a spot in Russia.
Netherlands' bid to put the ignominy of failing to reach Euro 2016 behind them emphatically failed as they lost 2-1 at home to Greece.
Goals from Konstantinos Mitroglou and Giannis Gianniotas turned the game on its head after Georginio Wijnaldum's opener in Eindhoven as defeat turned up the heat on Netherlands boss Danny Blind.
The Dutch were the most high-profile side not to qualify for the Euros, finishing in fourth place in their group, behind the Czech Republic, Iceland and Turkey.
Nani netted two goals as Portugal made short work of Gibraltar in a 5-0 win ahead of their first qualifier away to Switzerland next week.
The Valencia winger started things off in the 27th minute and scored again in the second half to put his team up 2-0.
Pepe, Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva all added second-half goals of their own in the runaway victory.