Germany misfire on night without stars

Holland and Germany played out a low-key goalless draw in their friendly at the Amsterdam ArenA last night, with both sides missing a number of key players due to injury.

Mesut Ozil, Mario Gomez and Bastian Schweinsteiger were among the big names missing for Germany, currently four points clear of Ireland in World Cup Qualifying Group C.

Meanwhile, the Dutch were without injured duo Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder, with coach Louis van Gaal’s experimental line-up including a debut for Kenneth Vermeer of Ajax in goal, who was rarely troubled in a game of few chances.

Substitute Bafetimbi Gomis struck a second-half winner as France came from behind to beat Italy 2-1 in Parma.

In-form AC Milan forward Stephan El Shaarawi had given Italy a first-half lead but a brilliant effort from Mathieu Valbuena saw France draw level almost immediately and then Gomis put Les Bleus ahead four minutes after coming on as a 63rd-minute replacement.

Mix Diskerud’s last-gasp strike helped the United States claim a creditable 2-2 draw against Russia in Krasnodar.

Fedor Smolov put the hosts ahead in the ninth minute, although Jurgen Klinsmann’s men levelled with 14 minutes remaining as Michael Bradley fired home.

Russia thought they had claimed the bragging rights when Roman Shirokov scored from the spot but Diskerud claimed an unlikely equaliser with a strike from outside the area.

Jordan Rhodes hit a first-half double as an attack-minded Scotland side began life after Craig Levein with a narrow 2-1 victory in Luxembourg.

Rhodes, who scored a hat-trick for Scotland U21s on his previous trip to the Stade Josy Barthel, headed home from close range on 10 minutes and then slotted a simple second.

However, caretaker manager Billy Stark’s side failed to build on their lead and survived some nervous moments after Lars Gerson’s well-placed free-kick brought Luxembourg back into the game 90 seconds after the break.

Goal machine Lionel Messi endured a rare quiet night as Argentina could only register a goalless draw against Saudi Arabia in a friendly played in Riyadh.

The South Americans were far from their best and came close to losing to the Saudis, who are led by former Barcelona boss Frank Rijkaard.

Andrija Delibasic scored twice as Montenegro knocked England off the top of the World Cup Qualifying Group H with a 3-0 victory over group minnows San Marino in Podgorica.

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