International Roundup: England Win While Germany Suffer Shock Defeat in Friendlies
England and Slovenia both tasted victory in their penultimate meeting before the World Cup finals, while reigning champions Germany fell to a shock defeat at the hands of Austria in delayed fixture in Klagenfurt.
Gareth Southgate's England were on song in the first half of their fixture against Group D side Nigeria as goals from Gary Cahill and captain Harry Kane saw the hosts run out 2-1 winners at Wembley. An early second half goal from Arsenal's Alex Iwobi gave the Super Eagles something to chase, but in the end a stoic England performance saw them claim victory.
Elsewhere, Group E contenders Serbia claimed a comfortable 2-0 win over Montenegro in the Podgorica City Stadium, with a Roman Bezjak penalty and a Miha Zajc strike separating the sides that played as one footballing nation between 2002 and 2006.
Germany fell to a surprise defeat in Austria after an early goal from Arsenal midfielder Mesut Ozil was cancelled out by second half strikes from Martin Hinteregger and Alessandro Schopf. The Austrian's second half double saw Joachim Low's men fall to a 2-1 defeat in a weather-affected fixture at Austria Klagenfurt's Worthersee Stadion.
Low opted to rest Bayern Munich duo Thomas Muller and Mats Hummels, as well as Real Madrid midfielder Toni Kroos, giving the Mannschaft trio opportunity to rest following a draining end to the season with their respective clubs.
However, it seemingly failed to pay off as the current World Cup champions hardly covered themselves in glory as they slipped to a below par defeat to an Austria team that finished in the bottom half of their qualifying group.
Sweden were held to a 0-0 draw by Lars Lagerback's Denmark side in a rather uninspired affair at the Friends Arena in Stockholm.
Iran's friendly against Greece, scheduled to be played in Istanbul, was abruptly cancelled due to ongoing tensions between Greece and Turkey, reportedly resulting in the Footballing Federation of Iran suspending all relation's with its Greek counterpart.
Belgium's highly anticipated meeting with European champions Portugal ended in a 0-0 draw at the Heysel Stadium, with Portugal goalkeeper Beto and Belgium defender Vincenct Kompany each picking up injuries of varying severity.
In an oddly late kick off, the Republic of Ireland played out a dramatic 2-1 win over the USA, with Graham Burke's goal ahead of the hour mark cancelling out Bobby Wood's late first half opener for the visitors. The game appeared to be headed for a draw before a last minute goal from Brentford's Alan Judge handed the hosts the win at the Aviva Stadium.
Iceland's friendly with Norway ended in a 3-2 win for the latter, with strikes from Bjoern Maars Johnsen, Joshua King and Alexander Sørloth proving pivotal, with Iceland responding through Alfred Finbogasson and Gylfi Sigurdsson.