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Internationals Recap: England and Spain Dispatch South American Competition

Running down February's international friendlies from a Liverpool point of view sees a victorious return to international action for Joe Allen, frustration for Luis Suarez, and England victorious but with Glen Johnson struggling to finish the match.

Clive Brunskill
Spain 3, Uruguay 1

Uruguay put up a fight for a half, but in the end Spain cruised to an easy victory over the South American champions on the strength of a a Cesc Fabregas marker and a Pedro brace. Uruguay's lone goal came late in the first half when Christian Rodriguez beat Victor Valdes from distance, and it was sandwiched by two spurned chances for Edinson Cavani that saw Luis Suarez send his strike partner on goal only for the Napoli man to mishandle.

It was a frequent theme on the evening, with Suarez carrying his strong club form over to the national team but Cavani's poor night spoiling any chances of Uruguay coming away with the victory. Still, it was a better performance than many of late for a Uruguayan side that has struggled over the past year, and if Cavani can begin to deliver for his country as he often does for his club 2013 should be a better year for them than 2012 was.

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Macedonia 3, Denmark 0

In the upset of the night, minnows Macedonia destroyed Denmark thanks to a strong first half that saw the hosts up three goals before the half hour mark. Daniel Agger played and escaped unscathed. At least physically.

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England 2, Brazil 1

Steven Gerrard and Glen Johnson played the full ninety as England eased to a surprisingly easy victory over the hosts of the upcoming World Cup. The visitors had a chance to go up early when a Jack Wilshire handball led to a penalty for Brazil, but Joe Hart saved Ronaldinho's weak effort and then blocked the follow up to keep the hosts level.

Rooney and Fred would then trade markers before the half, but with Brazil anonymous in midfield and selfish in attack England always looked the more likely if never wholly dominant side. When Frank Lampard struck from distance on 60 minutes, it became a game of simply putting as many men behind the ball as England could manage and letting the Brazilians do step-overs until they turned the ball over.

However, while England fans will be encouraged by the result, Liverpool fans will be left to worry that a late knock that left Glen Johnson hobbling as the clock wound down could prove serious and keep the fullback out of action for at least Monday's important league match against West Brom.

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Belgium 2, Slovakia 1

Eden Hazard and Dries Mertens ensured it would be a bad day for Liverpool's centre halves as the Belgians opened and closed the night's scoring to take a victory from Martin Skrtel and Slovakia. For the visiting Slovaks, a late goal by Ricaard Lasik provided hope, but in the end it wasn't enough.

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Wales 2, Austria 1

Allen returned to action with Wales and made an instant impact, setting up Gareth Bale's goal in the 21st minute and putting in a strong 90 minute shift to help the hosts ease past a game Austrian side. A late goal by Marc Janko pulled the Austrians to within one after Sam Vokes scored Wales' second, but it for most of the match the Welsh had been the better side they were able to hold off a late push to go home deserved winners.

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