Holland and England impress, Italy and Greece draw

England's young generation beat Germany 2-1 to take its fifth straight win. The Mannschaft was defeated for the first time in Berlin since 1973. Elsewhere, Holland were impressive 3-1 winners over Sweden, and Italy drew 1-1 with Greece.


England's young generation laid the foundations for a 2-1 triumph over bitter rivals Germany on Wednesday while old nemesis Diego Maradona enjoyed a winning start as Argentina coach with a 1-0 victory in Scotland.

On a busy night of international football, world champions Italy had to come from behind to draw 1-1 with Greece, France's stuttering form continued with a 0-0 draw in Paris against Uruguay while European champions Spain signed off their memorable 2008 with a 3-0 home success over Chile.

Germany suffered their first defeat in Berlin since 1973 as England shrugged off the absence of Wayne Rooney, Rio Ferdinand, Frank Lampard, Steven Gerrard, David Beckham and Theo Walcott.

Captain John Terry's header six minutes from time sealed victory over the Euro 2008 runners-up after Matthew Upson's first-half goal had been cancelled out by Bayer Leverkusen's Patrick Helmes.

"It was a good performance and the youngsters in the team have really given the manager some problems," said Terry who also took the blame for Germany's equaliser which came after an embarrassing mix-up between him and substitute goalkeeper Scott Carson.

England coach Fabio Capello admitted he was delighted with the result.

"It was a very good performance. We made lots of chances. I liked the attitude, confidence and personality," said the Italian.

In Glasgow, Maradona's first match as head coach of Argentina ended on a high note.

Maradona, who led the South Americans to World Cup victory in 1986 as a player on the back of his infamous 'Hand of God' goal in the quarter-final win over England, had demanded a fighting performance from his team.

But Maxi Rodriguez's eighth minute goal was all that separated the sides after Argentina, who have been struggling in their World Cup qualifiers, faded after the interval.

"I thought in the first 25 minutes we were brilliant. We played some excellent football and scored the goal," said Maradona, a folk-hero in Scotland. 

David Villa, with a first-half penalty, set Spain on their way against Chile in Villarreal.

It was Villa's 24th goal in 21 internationals. Goals after the break from Liverpool's Fernando Torres and Santi Cazorla completed an emphatic win.

Italy coach Marcello Lippi broke Vittorio Pozzo's record of 30 consecutive matches without defeat as the Italians came away from Piraeus with a hard fought 1-1 draw against Greece.

The world champions needed a goal from Luca Toni to force the draw when in the 54th minute he headed home a freekick from Daniele De Rossi. Four minutes earlier, the Greeks had taken a 1-0 lead through substitute Fanis Gekas.

France, with skipper Patrick Vieira back after a nine-month injury lay-off, were held to a disappointing 0-0 draw by Uruguay.

Despite enjoying long spells of possession the home side found themselves frustrated by the visitors' defence, with a lively second-half cameo by debutant striker Steve Savidan, a former binman, one of the few consolations.

Holland were impressive 3-1 winners over Sweden in Amsterdam with Arsenal star Robin van Persie scoring twice before Liverpool striker Dirk Kuyt headed in the third goal in the second minute of injury time.

Middlesbrough's Tuncay grabbed a hat-trick as Turkey beat Austria 4-2 in Vienna.

Craig Bellamy gave Wales a 1-0 win in Denmark but both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland suffered home defeats to Hungary and Poland respectively.

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