Holland 2 – United States 1 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) (Longer highlights here, extended highlights here.) A poor tackle from Holland and City’s Nigel de Jong took out Bolton and the United States’ midfielder Stuart Holden in the first half which forced the promising star to withdraw. The Dutch took the lead five minutes from the break when Liverpool forward Dirk Kuyt confidently dispatched a penalty. Klaas-Jan Huntelaar added a second for the hosts in the 73rd minute, Carlos Bocanegra bagged a late consolation for the Americans.
Belgium 0 – Croatia 1 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) The talented young Belgians were beaten courtesy of a goal from Tottenham’s Niko Krancjar, the playmaker broke down the left, cut inside on his right and unleashed a stunning 30-yarder that ripped keeper Logan Bailly.
Italy 0 – Cameroon 0 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) (Longer highlights here, extended highlights here.) Lippi used the friendly in Monte Carlo to try out some of his fringe players and despite his team dominating the encounter, they were unable to find the finishing touch.
Hungary 1 – Russia 1 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) (Longer highlights here.) Vilmos Vanczak fired the hosts into the lead five minutes from the break (first half highlights here), Everton’s Diniyar Bilyaletdinov pulling the Russians level pouncing from close range from an early second half corner.
Albania 1 – Northern Ireland 0 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) A stunning free-kick from Ervin Skela earned the Albanians victory.
Portugal 2 – China 0 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) Cristiano Ronaldo marked his return to the Portugal side after injury by setting up the opener for Almeida on 36 minutes. Portugal finally made the game safe in the closing seconds when Liedson deflected Joao Moutinho’s shot into the net.
Romania 0 – Israel 2 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) On a heavy pitch, the Israeli took the lead on the stroke of halftime with a brilliant goal from Yossi Benayoun, the Liverpool midfielder played a one-two with Scheter on the edge of the box before stroking a shot into the far corner. Eliyaniv Barda sealed the excellent away win with a retaken spot-kick.
Algeria 0 – Serbia 3 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) Ajax’s Marko Pantelic got the ball rolling for the Serbs on the quarter hour, Zdravko Kuzmanovic cracking in the second 10 minutes into the second half. Former Manchester United winger Zoran Tosic sealed the win with a third in the 64th.
Austria 2 – Denmark 1 (International Friendly, March 3, 2010) Austria were ahead after 12 minutes, with Franz Schiemer heading in after a free-kick from the left, but the lead lasted just five minutes, as Arsenal striker Nicklas Bendtner got his head to a corner. Denmark looked marginally the better side at that point, but Austria regained control of the game when Roman Wallner struck eight minutes before the interval.