International friendly matches, January - February 2011


USA 1-1 Chile
Peru 1-0 Panama
Latvia 1-2 Bolivia
Argentina 2-1 Portugal
France 1-0 Brazil
Spain 1-0 Colombia
Venezuela 2-2 Costa Rica
Honduras 1-1 Ecuador

Match reports

On Tuesday 8 February Peru managed a 1-0 win against Panama which is the least their fans would have expected after the embarassment of being beaten by the central American minnows back in October 2010. Peru continue to perform below their fans expectations but they can comfort themselves that they are not doing as badly as Bolivia who suffered a 1-2 defeat to European minnows Latvia on Wednesday 9 February.

The match between Argentina and Portugal was predictably billed by the unimaginative as Messi vs Ronaldo however the biggest battle of the evening was the players against a really poor pitch in Geneva. Both players managed to score in the game, Ronaldo equalising Madrid team mate Angel Di María's opener for Argentina and Messi hitting a late penalty to give Argentina the 2-1 win.

Messi's penalty put a positive spin on a game that saw many more chances come about through poor distribution, unforced errors and bad defending than from the quality of the attacking players. The biggest plus for Argentina was the fact that three players made their international debut. Former Estudiantes defender Marcos Rojo played the full 90 while Anderlecht's Lucas Biglia and Vélez Sársfield's Juan Manuel Martínez made their debuts from the bench.

Brazil went down to a 1-0 defeat against a France side that suffered a humiliating and shameful first round exit from the World Cup. Brazil can use the fact that they played more than half the game with ten men after Hernanes was sent off for a chest high lunge but defeat in this game means that if they lose to the Netherlands in March they will have gone down to three consecutive defeats for the first time in nearly 10 years.

Colombia did themselves proud by frustrating the World champions Spain in Madrid with a strong defensive display however David Silva ruined their party by hitting an 86th minute winner.

Venezuela will be disappointed to have gone behind twice against Costa Rica but they can be pleased that they recovered to draw the game 2-2. Ecuador also drew their game against Central American opponents, both of the goals came in the opening twelve minutes of their 1-1 draw with Honduras.

For more South American football highlights, including the Argentine and Brazilian leagues, the pick of the rest and international tournaments:

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