Spain has it easy against Uruguay; Germany rallies to best France
England ensured Luiz Felipe Scolari's second spell in charge of misfiring giant Brazil began with a defeat Wednesday as World Cup favourites Spain, Argentina and Germany all clinched impressive wins on the road.
England beat five-time world champion Brazil 2-1 at a chilly Wembley to end a 23-year wait for victory over the south Americans.
Home goalkeeper Joe Hart saved an early penalty from the recalled Ronaldinho, before Wayne Rooney put Roy Hodgson's side ahead.
An error from Gary Cahill allowed substitute Fred to equalise for Brazil early in the second half, but Frank Lampard gave England victory with a smartly taken goal on the hour.
“The lads who completed 90 minutes deserve a lot of credit because Brazil can't half move the ball,” said Lampard.
Scolari not unhappy
Scolari, who replaced Mano Menezes in November, refused to be downbeat about the defeat.
“I'm not disappointed. We played against a strong England team who had strong players and were in good physical form,” he said.
In Doha, world and European champion Spain stretched its unbeaten run at senior international level to 17 games with a 3-1 win over Uruguay, a victory sealed by two goals from Pedro Rodriguez after the break.
In Paris, Real Madrid duo Mesut Oezil and Sami Khedira combined to devastating effect as Germany came from behind to beat France 2-1.
Khedira supplied Oezil and then got on the end of a brilliant return pass from the little playmaker before finishing past Hugo Lloris in the 74th minute to hand Germany its first victory over its neighbour since reunification.
The last time France had lost to a German team was back in 1987, when Rudi Voeller scored twice in a 2-1 West Germany victory.
It looked like Les Bleus' impressive run against its old foe would continue when Mathieu Valbuena headed the host in front just before half time.
However, a cool finish from Thomas Mueller brought the visitors level within six minutes of the restart.
“It was unfair at half-time, because we played some good football in the first half,” said Khedira.
No goal for Messi
Argentina defeated Sweden 3-2 in Stockholm on a night when superstar strikers Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Lionel Messi both failed to get on the scoresheet.
Argentina was 3-1 up by the break courtesy of two strikes from Gonzalo Higuain and one from Sergio Aguero while Jonas Olsson was on target for the Swedes. Substitute Rasmus Elm hit a consolation for the host in the fifth minute of injury time.
Ibrahimovic was eventually substituted while skipper Messi, despite not scoring, played a part in the first goal while the Swedish keeper's inability to hold a free-kick from the Barcelona man, allowed Higuain to claim his second.
Messi had the ball in the net in the second half, but his sweet lob was judged not to have crossed the line.
In Amsterdam, a stoppage time goal by Marco Verratti gave Italy a 1-1 draw with a young Dutch side after the host had taken a 33rd minute lead through Jeremain Lens.
Important results: At Doha: Spain 3 (Fabregas 16, Pedro Rodriguez 52, 75) bt Uruguay 1 (Rodriguez 32); At London: England 2 (Rooney 27, Lampard 60) bt Brazil 1 (Fred 48); At Guimaraes (Portugal): Portugal 2 (Ronaldo 23, Postiga 60) lost to Ecuador 3 (Valencia 3, Pereira 62-og, Caicedo 70); At Paris: France 1 (Valbuena 44) lost to Germany 2 (Mueller 51, Khedira 74); At Solna (Sweden): Sweden 2 (J. Olsson 17, Elm 90+4) lost to Argentina 3 (Higuain 3, 23, Aguero 19); At Amsterdam: Netherlands 1 (Lens 33) drew with Italy 1 (Verratti 90+1); At Skopje: Macedonia 3 (Pandev 8, Ibraimi 17, Noveski 24) bt Denmark 0; At Bruges: Belgium 2 (Hazard 11-pen, Mertens 90) bt Slovakia 1 (Lasik 87).