Veteran striker Aritz Aduriz earns Spain a draw against Italians
Goalkeeper David de Gea impresses while Scotland beat Czech Republic in Prague
Spain’s Aritz Aduriz celebrates his goal against Italy at the Friuli stadium. Photograph: EPA
Euro 2016 finalists Italy and Spain cancelled each other out in a 1-1 international friendly draw in Udine on Thursday night.
It was just his first goal for Spain at the age of 35, having made his only previous appearance for Spain six years ago, recalled for this one though thanks to his prolific form with Athletic Bilbao. The result ends Spain’s run of six successive clean sheets and they would have lost if had it not been for an inspired performance by their goalkeeper David de Gea. “It’s a shame we conceded a goal from a set piece and especially one that was offside, but apart from that it was a good performance,”
Italy coach Antonio Conte, who announced this month that he would step down after the Euros, told RAI. “I can assure all Italians that this is a great group of guys and we are a squad who love this shirt,” he added.
An early goal from Watford midfielder Ikechi Anya proved enough to give Scotland a 1-0 win over the Czech Republic in Prague.
After the hosts, who have also qualified for the finals in France later this summer, hit the frame of the goal through a free-kick from Borek Dockal, Scotland broke away on 10 minutes when Ross McCormack set up Anya.
Scotland keeper Allan McGregor made a string of fine saves as Gordon Strachan’s men held out for a morale-boosting win ahead of their plans towards the 2018 World Cup campaign.
Elsewhere, Ukraine, who will be in Northern Ireland’s Euro 2016 group, beat Cyprus 1-0 in Odessa.
Malta, set to face England in qualifying for the 2018 World Cup, played out a drab goalless draw against Moldova at the National Stadium, while there were also no goals between Estonia and Norway in Tallinn.
Greece defeated Montenegro 2-1 at the Georgios Karaiskakis Stadium in Athens.
Turkey, in the same group as Spain at Euro 2016, beat Sweden 2-1 at the Antalya Stadium, with a brace from Besiktas forward Cenk Tosun which included a late winner.
Nicolai Jorgensen scored twice early in the second half as Denmark beat Iceland 2-1 in Copenhagen