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FIFA World Cup 2018: England, Portugal ease past opponents in warm-up friendlies, Iceland held by Ghana

Berne: England and Portugal enjoyed comfortable home wins in their final World Cup warm-up matches on Thursday, beating Costa Rica 2-0 and Algeria 3-0 respectively.

South Korea were held to an unimpressive 0-0 draw against Bolivia while Iceland, the surprise packages of Euro 2016 who are looking to pull off more upsets in Russia, drew 2-2 at home to Ghana after leading 2-0.

Goncalo Guedes scored two goals against Algeria. AP

Goncalo Guedes scored two goals against Algeria. AP

A stunning strike from Marcus Rashford and a Danny Welbeck header gave a confident England side victory over the Central Americans in a meeting of two World Cup teams in Leeds. England, whose manager Gareth Southgate made 10 changes from the side which beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday, dominated possession against a mostly unadventurous Costa Rica side, but they created few clear chances. The match was the last for both teams before their World Cup openers, with England facing Tunisia on 18 June and Costa Rica meeting Serbia the day before.

In Lisbon, Portuguese forward Goncalo Guedes staked his claim for a place in the starting line-up with two goals in the win over Algeria at the Stadium of Light. Guedes fired the European champions ahead from Bernardo Silva’s headed pass and nodded in the third from Raphael Guerreiro’s cross. Captain Cristiano Ronaldo, making his only appearance in the warm-up friendlies, set up the second for Bruno Fernandes to head in. Portugal open their campaign against Spain on 15 June.

Famed for their physique and set-piece prowess, Iceland went ahead in the sixth minute when defender Kari Arnasson headed home a corner via a defender and Alfred Finnbogason made it two before the break. Ghana, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, hit back through Kasim Nuhu before Thomas Partey fired home three minutes from time.

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Updated Date: Jun 08, 2018 10:55 AM

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