With mere days to go before the World Cup, football fans have been treated to another round of exciting international friendlies in the warm up to the tournament in Russia next week.
Serbia ran out comfortable winners against Bolivia, while the likes of Spain, Denmark, Finland, Morocco and Australia all claimed wins and France were held to a shock draw in the late kick off.
Serbia blew Bolivia away in the highest scoring match of the evening, with the Group E hopefuls bagging four first half goals to put the game beyond any doubt before the halfway mark.
Fulham’s Aleksandar Mitrovic was on song at the UPC-Arena – scoring a hat-trick – with his opening two goals coming either side of an Adem Ljajic strike.
However, it was Branislav Ivanovic’s goal that really stole the show. From a free kick floated into the Bolivia box, the Serbians played a series of aerial passes before a spectacular bicycle kick looped over the defence to find Ivanovic, who lashed a venomous volley into the net to make it 4-0.
The World Cup’s youngest player got his name on the score sheet tonight with Australia’s Daniel Arzani scoring the opener for the Socceroos against Hungary, before a dramatic finish saw the Aussies almost fall short of a win, before a 92nd minute own goal from Tamas Kadar handed the visitors the win at the Groupama Arena.
Morocco eased themselves to a comfortable 3-1 win against Estonia, with goals coming from Younes Belhanda, Hakim Ziyech and Youssef En-Nesyri. Estonia pulled one back late on through Ats Purje although it wasn’t enough and the Group B hopefuls ended their warm-up matches in ideal fashion.
In Scandinavia, Finland ran out 2-0 winners against Belarus with Jere Uronen opening the scoring inside 10 minutes before Moshtagh Yaghoubi doubled doubled the Eagle-Owls’ lead 15 minutes from time.
Meanwhile, Finland’s neighbours, Sweden, played out a toothless 0-0 draw against Peru, with both sides registering only four shots on target between them at the Ulevi stadium in Gothenburg.
A quick fire double act from Yousef Poulsen and Christian Eriksen saw Denmark claim a 2-0 win over Mexico, with El Tri holding the Group C contenders until the 71st minute, when a short lapse in concentration saw the Danish Dynamite claim their victory.
Tunisia seemed as though they would be able to hold out for a draw against a dominant Spain side in Krasnodar. However, Celta Vigo’s Iago Aspas left it late to open the scoring, with little over five minutes remaining, seeing La Roja claim a late 1-0 win.
In the late kick off, and perhaps the biggest shock of the evening, the United States of America were able to hold France to a draw, with the Americans putting themselves ahead in the first half through Julian Green.
Despite Les Bleus abundance of quality, and being heavily tipped by many to go all the way this summer, It was only by virtue of a late Kylian Mbappe goal, created by Nabil Fekir, that Didier Deschamps’ men were able to salvage the game and make it 1-1.