Tunisia fight back to draw and expose Portugal's defensive weaknesses
Portugal Tunisia fight back to draw and expose Portugalâs defensive weaknesses
â¢ Giroud on target as France beat Republic of Ireland in Paris
â¢ Balotelli scores on return for Italy in win over Saudi Arabia
Portugalâs defensive frailties were again exposed as Englandâs first group stage opponents Tunisia hit back from two goals behind to hold the European champions to a 2-2 draw in a World Cup warm-up on Mon day.
Portugal, who rested their captain and leading scorer, Cristiano Ronaldo, after he played in Saturdayâs Champions League final for Real Madrid, went ahead through AndrÃ¡ Silvaâs header from Ricardo Quaresmaâs pinpoint cross in the 22nd minute.
The midfielder JoÃ£o MÃ¡rio doubled the lead when he rifled in a shot from outside the penalty area and Portugal, who face Spain, Morocco and Iran in their World Cup group, seemed to be in control.
The cracks began to appear five minutes later, however, when Anice Badri was left alone inside the penalty area to fire past Anthony Lopes and pull one back for Tunisia who face England on 18 June in Volgograd.
Portugalâs defence imploded in their previous game, a 3-0 friendly defeat by the Netherlands in March, and gave their coach, Fernando Santos, more cause for concern in the 64th minute.Liverpool confirm Â£40m deal to sign Fabinho from Monaco Read more
They failed to clear a free-k ick properly and, when the ball was played back in, Fakhreddine Ben Youssef got between four defenders to slide the ball home with the hosts appealing in vain for offside.
Elsewhere Olivier Giroud and Nabil Fekir staked their claims for Franceâs World Cup opener as they struck to condemn the Republic of Ireland to a 2-0 friendly defeat amid a torrential Parisian downpour.
Chelseaâs Giroud scored from close range and then saw the keeper Colin Doyleâs howler hand Fekir a second before the half-time whistle sounded on a night when Didier Deschampsâ Russia-bound side turned in a slick display.
Mario Balotelli returned to Italy duty with a bang following a four-year absence as his first-half goal set the tone for a 2-1 friendly victory over Saudi Arabia in St Gallen.Topics
- Republic of Ireland
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