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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Spain defeat France with help of video replay while Italy beat Netherlands

The video assistant referee twice played an important role as Spain beat France 2-0 in a friendly in Paris on Tuesday.

FIFA is testing VARs ahead of their possible use at the World Cup, and the system ruled out a goal that had been given for France, and later overruled a linesman to grant Spain a goal.

Antoine Griezmann thought he had put France ahead in the second half, but after the goal was originally given, the VAR called down to the match referee and disallowed the goal for offside in the buildup.

Spain then found the breakthrough from the penalty spot in the 68th minute, David Silva converting his shot after Laurent Koscielny fouled Gerard Deulofeu in the box.

Nine minutes later, the VAR was again called upon after a linesman ruled Deulofeu was offside before he put in Silva's cross. The call was promptly overturned and the goal allowed to stand.

France coach Didier Deschamps said he had no problem with the use of video, despite both results going against his side.

"If it is verified and it is fair, why not [use VAR]," he told TF1. "It changes our football a little. It's against us today, but if we have to go through this, it will be the same for everyone. Afterwards, without [VAR, the result] would have been different, but it is the evolution of football. That's how it will be."

Spain coach Julen Lopetegui insisted VAR was not the game's only deciding factor, saying: "The VAR has not favoured us. It was the attitude of my players that won the game. I'm very happy."

Italy celebrate after scoring against Netherlands on Tuesday.
Italy used goals from Eder and Leonardo Bonucci to beat Netherlands on Tuesday.

Italy overcame an early deficit to beat Netherlands 2-1, adding to the Dutch sides' recent woes.

Netherlands, who sacked coach Danny Blind this week with their World Cup qualifying hopes in dire straits, took the lead on 10 minutes when Quincy Promes' shot took a double deflection and went in off Alessio Romagnoli.

But less than a minute later, Italy were back level when Eder scored with a long shot following a quickly taken free kick. Italy took the lead on 32 minutes after a corner kick, Leonardo Bonucci tapping home a rebound of a Jeroen Zoet save.

But it wasn't all good news for Italy, who lost Daniele De Rossi to an injury five minutes later. Roberto Gagliardini replaced him, making his debut for the Azzurri.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Portugal, who could not hold the lead.
Portugal wasted an opening goal from Cristiano Ronaldo and fell to Sweden.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored for Portugal in his homecoming to Madeira but Sweden fought back after the Real Madrid star was substituted to earn a 3-2 win.

Ronaldo, who will have the airport on his home island named after him on Wednesday, got in front of his marker to put in a cross from Gelson in the 18th minute.

Portugal doubled their lead in the 34th minute when centre-back Andreas Granqvist accidentally put the ball in his own net while trying to cut out a cross.

Viktor Claesson pulled a goal back for Sweden from close range on 57 minutes, which also proved to the be the last action for Ronaldo on the night.

And he was missed after Claesson found an equaliser following a corner, and a Joao Cancelo own goal in stoppage time completed the comeback.

Alexander Bukharov salvaged a 3-3 draw for Russia against Belgium in stoppage time to cap a late comeback in Sochi.

Defender Viktor Vasin had given Russia an early lead before Roman Neustadter gave away a penalty with a clumsy challenge on Belgium forward Christian Benteke. Kevin Mirallas converted the spot kick, and Benteke followed up with a pair of goals shortly before half-time.

Substitute Bukharov set up Alexei Miranchuk to make it 3-2 in the 76th minute, before leveling in the second minute of time added on.

Among other European friendlies on Tuesday, Hoerdur Magnusson scored from a free kick midway through the first half to help Iceland to a 1-0 win away to Republic of Ireland.

Marko Arnautovic hooked the ball home following a corner kick to put Austria ahead, but Fredrik Jensen answered for Finland in a 1-1 draw.

Siim Luts scored in the opening minute and Estonia never looked back in surprising Croatia 3-0, Konstantin Vassiljev and Sergei Zenjov adding to the lead late in the second half.

Bosnia and Herzegovina came away with a 2-1 win at Albania, an early Edin Dzeko penalty and Senad Lulic goal enough to hold on despite Bekim Balaj's second-half strike for the hosts.

Giorgi Kvilitaia and Jano Ananidze both scored twice to help Georgia cruise past Latvia 5-0, while a Goran Pandev brace helped Macedonia to a 3-0 home win over Belarus.

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