Rickie Lambert scored on his debut as England twice rallied to beat Scotland 3-2 in their first meeting since 1999. Spain, Argentina and the U.S. also won soccer exhibition games, while Brazil lost in Switzerland.
Lambert, 31, headed the winning goal in the 70th minute at London’s Wembley Stadium last night three minutes after replacing Wayne Rooney. Scotland twice took the lead through goals by James Morrison and Kenny Miller, only for Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck to hit back for England.
“That’s what I’ve been dreaming of for probably all my life,” Lambert, who worked in a beetroot packing factory to supplement his income from soccer early in his career, said in a news conference. “It means so much.”
The match, which revived a rivalry that began in 1872 -- the oldest in international soccer -- gave both teams a tuneup before they resume their qualifying campaigns for next year’s World Cup on Sept. 6.
Brazil, which will host the 2014 tournament, slipped to a 1-0 defeat against Switzerland in Basel on Dani Alves’s second-half own goal. It was the Brazilians’ first match since winning the Confederations Cup in June.
World and European champion Spain rebounded from its 3-0 loss to Brazil in the Confederations Cup final as Alvaro Negredo and Santi Cazorla scored in a 2-0 win at Ecuador.
Argentina beat Italy 2-1 in Rome on goals from Gonzalo Higuain and Ever Banega, while Cristiano Ronaldo scored with three minutes remaining to give Portugal a 1-1 home draw against the Netherlands.
Paris Saint-Germain striker Zlatan Ibrahimovic got three goals as Sweden beat Norway 4-2. Jozy Altidore also netted a hat trick in the U.S.’s 4-3 win against Bosnia-Herzegovina in the teams’ first meeting. Trailing 2-0 at halftime, the U.S. scored four straight goals in Sarajevo to extend its record winning streak to 12 straight games.
Liverpool forward Luis Suarez, who’s been linked with a move to Premier League rival Arsenal, set up Diego Forlan’s opener, won the free kick for his strike partner’s second goal, and then added the third in Uruguay’s 4-2 win in Japan.
In other exhibition matches yesterday, Germany recovered from 2-0 down inside 14 minutes to draw 3-3 at home against Paraguay, while France’s goalless streak stretched to four matches with a 0-0 draw in Belgium.
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