INTERNATIONALS: BERTRAND MAKES ENGLAND BOW
Ryan Bertrand made his England debut as a late substitute in a 2-1 win over Italy.
In the mid-August round of international fixtures, to be removed from the calendar after one further year, England travelled to Switzerland to take on the Euro 2012 finalists in a friendly with Bertrand replacing Leighton Baines with 78 minutes played.
Fresh from Olympic action with Team GB, the 23-year-old almost immediately cleared a header off the line following a corner and a minute later Jermain Defoe netted England's winner.
Frank Lampard, as captain, and Gary Cahill both started the game and after England had fallen behind from a corner, it was Lampard's corner that was headed in by Phil Jagielka for an equaliser.
Cahill, who played the full game, also had the ball in the net from a Lampard corner but the goal was disallowed for a foul elsewhere. Lampard, who had gone close from distance in the first half, was replaced on 68 minutes.
In another friendly international, Ramires celebrated his return to the Brazil squad with a place in the starting line-up and a win as Sweden were beaten at home 3-0. David Luiz and Oscar also started in the Rasunda Stadium in Stockholm, the venue for Chelsea's 1998 Cup Winners' Cup triumph which is soon to be demolished. This last game in the stadium was a rematch of the 1958 World Cup Final which was held there.
David Luiz headed just over early on but it was Leandro Damiao and substitute Alexandre Pato, with two late goals, who found the net. David Luiz and Oscar were substituted with quarter of an hour to go. Ramires played all but the last two minutes.
Romelu Lukaku (pictured below) was on target for Belgium who hosted their neighbours The Netherlands and were 4-2 winners. Our striker, now on-loan at West Brom, scored the third from close range as his side came from behind with a late goal flurry.
Thibaut Courtois in the Belgian goal had twice saved well in the first half and Kevin De Bruyne, who like Lukaku was a substitute during the second half, had a header saved by the Dutch keeper. It was a De Bruyne pass that lead to the fourth goal. Eden Hazard played the first 58 minutes.
Branislav Ivanovic skippered Serbia in a home match against Republic of Ireland and although he was part of a defence that kept a clean sheet, his team found no way of breaking down the Irish rearguard and had to settle for a goalless draw.
Fernando Torres was the only one of our Spaniards in action as the European Champions travelled to the Caribbean to beat Puerto Rico 2-1. The centre-forward was twice denied by good saves.
Raul Meireles played the first 51 minutes of Portugal's 2-0 win on the Algarve against a Panama side reduced to 10 men when a goal down.
Petr Cech added to his considerable clean-sheet collection as Czech Republic drew 0-0 away to Ukraine.
At Under-21 level, Patrick van Aanholt played the whole of a 3-0 home defeat for the Dutch at the hands of Italy.