Internationals: Brazil win and Azpi starts
Mon 4 Jun 2018
Cesar Azpilicueta played the full game in central defence for Spain as they drew with Switzerland, and elsewhere Willian featured as Brazil beat Croatia 2-0 in a World Cup warm-up at Anfield.
Azpilicueta was picked alongside Gerard Pique in the left centre-back position for Spain and was typically solid throughout, once more demonstrating his impressive versatility.
Spain were dominant in Villarreal and deservedly led through Alvaro Odriozola, the Real Sociedad full-back, on 29 minutes. But they were made to pay for not taking their chances when Switzerland levelled after an error by David De Gea on the hour.
Spain came close to winning it when Nacho hit the woodwork in time added on but in the end they had to settle for a 1-1 draw which extends their unbeaten run, the longest in international football currently, to 19 matches.
In Liverpool, Willian lined up on the right side of Brazil’s front three and in a first half short of clear chances, he looked the likeliest to create an opening.
Neymar, on his return from a foot injury sustained in February, was introduced at half-time and it was he struck first with a sparkling finish on 69 minutes. Willian had initially fed Philippe Coutinho between the lines, and the Barcelona man set up Neymar who weaved into the box and fired into the roof of the net.
Willian was replaced by Fred with eight minutes remaining. Brazil’s second goal arrived in the final moments of the match through Roberto Firmino, on his home ground.
Brazil are next in action next Sunday against Austria before kicking off their World Cup campaign against Switzerland in Rostov.
At the Toulon Tournament in France, Billy Gilmour scored for Scotland as they beat South Korea 2-1 to advance to the semi-finals. The 16-year-old opened the scoring after feinting to shoot on his left, and then coolly picking out the corner of the goal from the edge of the box.
Scotland doubled their advantage soon after and though the Koreans pulled one back, Scott Gemmill's side held on to advance to the last four where they will play England on Wednesday.
Also on Sunday, Nigeria named their World Cup squad and have included Victor Moses and Kenneth Omeruo in the final 23, those two both involved in the Super Eagles’ defeat at Wembley yesterday. Ola Aina, who had been in the preliminary squad of 25, has been cut from the final selection made by manager Gernot Rohr.