Spain and Brazil make big statements with impressive wins
With neither Messi nor Ter Stegen featuring for the losing sides, last year's World Cup finalists Argentina and Germany both suffer reverses - plus a round-up of Tuesday's other international friendlies with a Barça interest
08:00AM Wednesday 28 Mar
Spain were in rampant form in Tuesday’s friendly against none other than Argentina, winning 6-1 to send out a huge warning message ahead of this summer’s World Cup finals in Russia.
Isco scored a hat-trick, and Diego Costa, Thiago Alcantara and Iago Aspas got the others. Had Leo Messi been on the field, it might have been a different story, but the Barça star was left out due to a hamstring issue.
But Jordi Alba, Gerard Piqué and Andrés Iniesta all started the game and were replaced at various stages of the second half.
Brazil went some way to avenging the disaster of 7-1 defeat to Germany in semi-finals of the last World Cup by beating the world champions 1-0 in Berlin. Paulinhofeatured for the full ninety minutes and Philippe Coutinho was on for 73 minutes before making way for Douglas Costa.
Gabriel Jesús of Manchester City scored the only goal of the game.
Marc Andre Ter Stegen was rested for this encounter, with Roma’s Alisson Becker taking his place between the German sticks.
France won 3-1 in Russia. Ousmane Dembele (who was left out of the 3-2 loss to Colombia on Friday) was on for the first 71 minutes, while Samuel Umtiti played the whole game. Lucas Digne, who did feature against Colombia, was not selected this time.
Thomas Vermaelen featured in the second half of a convincing win for Belgium, 4-0, against Saudi Arabia.
Colombia, fresh from an impressive win in France, drew 0-0 with Australia in a friendly played at Fulham’s Craven Cottage in London. Barça’s Yerry Mina started on the bench, but entered the game as a substitute shortly after the break.
Later on in the day's schedule, Ivan Rakitic scored the only goal of the game (a 62nd minute penalty) as Croatia beat Mexico 1-0 at the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, TX.