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International Friendlies Wednesday Wrap: Les Blues and Oranje stutter past their Opponents

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The World of international friendlies got incredibly exciting on Wednesday night with some of world football's top guns taking to the field for their final preparations for the upcoming FIFA World Cup finals. Five of the thirty two teams in South Africa were in action, with the Netherlands pitting wits against Mexico in the only match which featured two sides with a ticket to South Africa. All 4 matches saw wins, though a couple of the big guns did not have things completely their own way.

Netherlands 2 - 1 Mexico

robin_van_persie.jpgA brace from Robin van Persie in the first half won the game for the Oranje against Mexico, who were playing their second friendly in two days. El Tri were coming off the back of a 3-1 defeat to the English and this was another defeat from a European giant would not have helped their confidence one bit. Manchester United summer signing Javier Hernandez pulled one back for Mexico in the 75th minute but it was too little too late. The Dutch have a busy few days ahead of them as they take on the Ghanaians and Hungary before their World Cup campaign kicks off while Mexico will hope to return to winning ways when they meet Gambia, before a clash with defending champs Italy in their last pre-World Cup friendly.

France 2 - 1 Costa Rica

The French achieved a come back victory against Costa Rica after going a goal down thanks to a Carlos Hernandez strike in the 12th minute. Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery equalized for France 10 minutes later and then in the 83rd minute Mathieu Valbuena sealed the victory for Les Blues. France will finish off their world preparations with games against Tunisia and China before they take on Uruguay in their world cup opener.

Chile 3 - 0 Zambia

Udinese attacker Alexis Sanchez scored a brace to give Chile a comfortable victory over African minnows Zambia. After a goalless first half, the match came to life in the 52nd minute when Sanchez scored his first of the game. He added a second on the hour mark, before Jorge Valdivia sealed the deal with an 83rd minute strike. Chile play Northern Ireland, Israel and New Zealand in their preparatory matches before the finals.

Uruguay 4 - 1 Israel

A late brace from substitute Sebastien Abreu secured what could have been a nail-biting encounter between Uruguay and Israel. Diego Forlan gave his side the lead in the 15h minute but saw it cancelled out at the half hour mark by Lior Refaelov. Six minutes later though the South Americans were ahead again thanks to Maximiliano Perreira. The game was tight with Israel trailing by just a goal until Abreu came on and landed a double strike in the last fifteen minutes to seal the game for his country. The Uruguayans now head to the FIFA World Cup where they face France in their first game.

File Photograph Copyright: Ryu Voelkel

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