Fri, Aug 24, 2007 - Page 24 News List

Hungary humble Italians

MAGICAL MAGYARS Hungary scored three in 15 minutes to defeat Italy on a night when Argentina, the Netherlands and England were also beaten


Italy's Massimo Ambrosini, right, vies with Hungary's Tamas Vasko during their friendly international soccer match at the Puskas stadium in Budapest on Wednesday.


World champions Italy were upset by Hungary in a soccer friendly, joining Argentina, the Netherlands and England in defeat on Wednesday.

Italy, where the league does not start play until this weekend, seemed out of shape despite Antonio Di Natale's opening goal in the 3-1 loss in Budapest.

Argentina lost to Norway 2-1, the Netherlands lost to Switzerland 2-1 and England fell by the same score to visiting Germany.

Other winners around the world included Brazil, France, Spain, Sweden, Croatia, Japan, Ireland and Ukraine.

There were also six qualifying matches for the UEFA 2008 European Championship -- with wins for Belgium, Finland, Estonia and Northern Ireland, while Portugal drew 1-1 with Armenia.

Di Natale scored for Italy in the 49th minute after deflecting a shot by Filippo Inzaghi. Hungary's goals came from a volley from Roland Juhasz in the 62nd minute, a penalty kick from Zoltan Gera three minutes later and a shot from Robert Feczesin in the 76th minute.

"We came up against a team that was fresher than us and more interested in taking control of the game," Italy coach Roberto Donadoni said. "We played well for stretches in the first half, then we lost our focus when it was 1-1."

Norway edged Argentina 2-1 with two goals from John Carew. It was Argentina's first game since the 3-0 loss to Brazil in the Copa America final in Venezuela last month.

Carew scored with a 12th-minute penalty and a header in the 58th minute. Maxi Rodriguez pulled one back for Argentina in the 84th minute.

Thierry Henry scored France's lone goal with a quick free kick in a 1-0 win over Slovakia. It was Henry's 40th goal for France, leaving him one away from Michel Platini's national record.

In Montpellier, France, Maicon and Ronaldinho scored second half goals to give Brazil a 2-0 win over Algeria. Maicon nodded in a corner kick from Ronaldinho in the 63rd minute, and the FC Barcelona playmaker doubled the lead in the 81st minute.

"It's a pleasure to come back in France, have a good game, and help the Selecao," said Ronaldinho, who once played for Paris Saint-Germain.

In Geneva, Tranquillo Barnetta scored two goals to give Switzerland a 2-1 win over the Netherlands.

Barnetta scored from the penalty spot in the ninth minute and added a second in the 51st minute with a powerful shot into the roof of the net.

Netherlands substitute Dirk Kuyt headed home from close range in the 46th minute.

Kim Kallstrom scored in the 55th minute to give Sweden a 1-0 win over the US. His left-foot drive from outside the box went into goalkeeper Tim Howard's right corner.

With the win, Sweden snapped a 12-game winless streak in friendlies, dating back to late 2005.

Spain rallied to beat defending European champions Greece 3-2 with two goals from David Silva.

Carlos Marchena got Spain's other goal, while Fanis Gekas and Costas Katsouranis scored for Greece.

Former captain Theo Zagorakis played his final game for Greece.

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