The Telegraph
Friday , March 7 , 2014
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Ronaldo raises the bar

- Pedro does it for Spain; Germans jeered despite win

Stuttgart: Mario Goetze scored against the run of play in the first half to give Germany a fortunate 1-0 victory over fellow World Cup hopefuls Chile in a friendly on Wednesday.

After Chile dominated the first 15 minutes, Goetze was set up by Bastian Schweinsteiger and Mesut Ozil before firing the ball into the top corner of Johnny Herrera’s goal from 12 metres.

The visitors kept going forward and created plenty of chances against an unusually porous Germany defence.

“It was a lucky win,” said captain Philipp Lahm after his team were jeered off.

Juventus midfielder Arturo Vidal, a former Bayer Leverkusen player, wasted a good opportunity for the South Americans in front of goal in the 26th minute and Charles Aranguiz could only hit the outside of the net when well placed 18 minutes later.

Chile continued outplaying the hosts in the second period with Eduardo Vargas blasting a shot against the crossbar from close range.

It was also a good day for Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo. The World Player scored twice in Portugal’s 5-1 win over Cameroon, making him his country’s all-time leading scorer with 49 goals, two more than the previous record set by Pauleta,

“I don’t worry about breaking records, it is something that happens naturally, with lots of dedication,” he said.

Lionel Messi had an off-colour night for Argentina in Romania, vomiting on the field early in a dull 0-0 draw in Bucharest.

World and European champions Spain underlined their pedigree with a 1-0 victory over Italy in a repeat of the Euro 2012 final. Pedro scored the game’s only goal in Atletico Madrid’s Calderon Stadium.

England manager Roy Hodgson watched his side labour to a 1-0 win over Denmark with Liverpool’s Daniel Sturridge scoring late to ensure they did not lose three friendly matches in a row at Wembley having been beaten by Germany and Chile in November.

Jack Wilshere has been ruled out for six weeks with a fractured foot, disrupting his club Arsenal’s title challenge and his own preparations for the World Cup.

“Following initial scans carried out by The FA on Wednesday night, further investigation by Arsenal's medical team has discovered a crack to a small bone in Wilshere’s left foot — the navicular, an area of his foot which has not been previously injured,” the FA said in a statement. “Wilshere will now require a period of approximately six weeks’ rehabilitation, before embarking on regaining his match fitness.”

Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive footballer, inspired Wales to an impressive 3-1 win over Iceland in their friendly, at Cardiff City Stadium. He produced an outstanding individual performance that included two assists and a sensational goal that will be played time and time again.

Picking the ball up midway inside his own half, Bale showed an incredible change of pace to sprint round the outside of Solvi Jonsson before cutting inside Kari Arnason and curling a left-foot shot into the bottom corner of the net. (Reuters)