World Sports News in Brief

France slump to 2-0 defeat against Finland

Thursday, 2020-11-12 08:46:55
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Soccer Football - International Friendly - France v Finland - Stade de France, Saint-Denis, France - November 11, 2020 Finland's Robert Taylor in action. (Photo: Reuters)
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France geared up for their upcoming Nations League games with a 2-0 home defeat against Finland as their 12-match unbeaten streak came to an abrupt end on Wednesday (Nov 11).

Marcus Forss and Onni Valakari scored in the first half to give Finland their first win against Les Bleus, having lost all their previous eight encounters going into the game at the Stade de France.

* The Netherlands drew 1-1 at home to Spain in a friendly on Wednesday after Donny van de Beek cancelled out an earlier strike from Sergio Canales. Netherlands' Manchester City defender Nathan Ake was forced off early in the game with a muscle injury while Spain's Jose Gaya also came off in the first half, after a clash of heads with Hans Hateboer.

* Michy Batshuayi scored twice in the second half as top-ranked Belgium came from behind to beat Switzerland 2-1 in a friendly on Wednesday, a confidence boosting win ahead of their crucial Nations League clash against England on Sunday. Batshuayi took his tally to 13 goals in his last 13 international appearances with the double, which maintained Belgium’s four-year unbeaten run at home.

* Pedro Neto and Paulinho both scored on their Portugal debuts as the European champions unsurprisingly routed Andorra 7-0 in a friendly on Wednesday while Cristiano Ronaldo was also on target. Neto, 20, rifled in the opening goal after eight minutes while Paulinho, making his debut at the age of 28, got in front of his marker to score the second just before the half hour.

* A newlook Germany side earned a 1-0 victory over the Czech Republic in a friendly on Wednesday but wasted a bagful of chances and failed to impress as they prepare to face Ukraine and Spain in the Nations League.

* Debutants Jonas Wind and Alexander Bah came off the bench to score as Denmark beat Sweden 2-0 in a friendly in Copenhagen on Wednesday with both sides fielding weakened teams due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

* A makeshift Croatia side missing several regular starters held Turkey to a rollercoaster 3-3 draw in an entertaining friendly on Wednesday ahead of top-tier Nations League games against Sweden and Portugal.

* England manager Gareth Southgate has hit out at the demands being placed on players after Liverpool central defender Joe Gomez suffered a knee injury in training on Wednesday ahead of Thursday's friendly against Ireland. Gomez has been withdrawn from the England squad and sent back to the Premier League champions.

* Sadio Mane made a successful return for Senegal as they beat Guinea Bissau 2-0 to edge closer to Africa Cup of Nations qualification, but it was the tiny Comoros Islands who stole the spotlight on Wednesday. The Indian Ocean archipelago with a population under one million, who have only been playing competitive international football since 2006, drew 1-1 away against Kenya in Nairobi despite being down to 10 men for much of the match.

* KTM Tech3 MotoGP rider Iker Lecuona has been cleared for this weekend's Valencia Grand Prix after producing a negative COVID-19 test result on Wednesday.

* Next year's Tour de Yorkshire event has has been cancelled because of continued uncertainty about the COVID-19 pandemic, organisers announced on Wednesday. This year's race at the end of April was also cancelled.

* Argentine soccer great Diego Maradona will be released from hospital on Wednesday and taken to a recovery clinic where he will be treated for alcohol dependency, his lawyer told reporters. The former Napoli and Boca Juniors player had emergency surgery last Tuesday for a subdural haematoma, a blood clot on the brain.

* Lewis Hamilton can match Michael Schumacher's record seven world championships and overtake the former Ferrari great as the most successful Formula One driver of all time in Turkey on Sunday. The Mercedes ace, who has a record 93 race wins, will be champion again at the Istanbul Park circuit if his team mate and sole title rival Valtteri Bottas fails to score eight points more.

* Hungary national team coach Marco Rossi tested positive for COVID-19 and separated from the team in quarantine a day before their crucial Euro 2020 playoff match against Iceland.