International friendly: England and Italy draw; Spain win

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England and world champion Italy struggled to achieve ties in their final matches before the start of World Cup qualifying, while European champion Spain won their first match under new coach Vicente Del Bosque.

At Wembley, England, the team that coach Fabio Capello said could be as good as the European champions, were held to a 2-2 home draw by Czech Republic.

Milan Baros scored for the Czechs in the 22nd minute with a shot that deflected off defender Ashley Cole, but Wes Brown tied it in the 45th when he headed in a corner kick by David Beckham.

Marek Jankulovski put his side back ahead with a curling free kick in the 48th that beat goalkeeper David James. Substitute Joe Cole saved England from defeat by equalising two minutes into stoppage time.

In Italy’s first match since Marcello Lippi returned as coach, the Azzurri rallied from a two-goal deficit to tie Austria 2-2 at Nice, France. Lippi quit after leading Italy to its fourth World Cup title in 2006, then replaced Roberto Donadoni after Italy was eliminated by Spain in the European Championship.

Austria took the lead when Emanuel Pogatetz beat goalkeeper Gianluigi Buffon with a long shot in the 14th minute and Marc Janko scored in the 39th on a shot that deflected off a defender.

Alberto Gilardino scored in 45th minute and Italy tied it on an own goal in the 67th when Austria backup goalkeeper Ramazan Özcan tried to punch away a cross and knocked the ball into his own net.

In Copenhagen, Spain beat Denmark 3-0 and extended its unbeaten streak to 23 matches.

Liverpool midfielder Xabi Alonso put La Furia Roja in front after 50 minutes when he struck on a pass from Liverpool team mate Fernando Torres.

Debutant Diego Capel caused several problems for Denmark down the left and the 20-year-old winger crossed for Xavi to snap the second goal in the 73rd minute, before Alonso completed the scoring in injury time when he converted another cross by Capel.

Portugal, despite missing injured star Cristiano Ronaldo, destroyed Faroe Islands 5-0 on Carlos Queiroz’s first match in his second spell as coach.

Midfielder Carlos Martins put Portugal in front with a deflected long-range shot in the 23rd minute. Simao Sabrosa doubled the lead after 48 minutes when he headed in a cross from substitute Miguel.

Duda added the third goal with four minutes to go before Bruno Alves made it 4-0. Nani completed the rout in injury time.

In Nürnberg, a penalty from Bastian Schweinsteiger and a coolly taken goal from youngster Marko Marin gave Germany a 2-0 win over Belgium.

A new-look France team rallied to win 3-2 at Sweden with goals from Karim Benzema and a brace by Sidney Govou. Sweden, wearing replica jerseys from the 1958 World Cup, got goals from Henrik Larsson in the fifth minute and Kim Kallstrom's penalty five minutes before time.

Bert van Marwijk, in his first match since taking over from Marco van Basten as coach, watched Robin van Persie netted the opening goal for his Dutch side before Konstantin Zyryanov levelled from the spot in the 77th minute.

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