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How can East Africa compete with the rest?

By ESPN Staff

Haiti claim shock draw with Italy

Holland beat 10-man China 2-0 thanks to goals from Robin van Persie and Wesley Sneijder

Jean Phillipe Peguero fired a last-minute equaliser as Haiti scored twice in the last five minutes to draw 2-2 against Italy in their international friendly in Rio de Janeiro.

Emanuele Giaccherini had given Italy a 1-0 lead after just 14 seconds before Claudio Marchisio gave them a two-goal cushion midway through the second half.

However, Italy, who start their FIFA Confederations Cup campaign against Mexico on June 16, switched off in the closing minutes allowing Pascal Millien to pull one back from the penalty spot before Peguero scored a stoppage-time leveller.

The fixture, along with being a final warm-up game for Italy ahead of the Confederations Cup tournament, aimed to raise money for those affected by the 2010 earthquake in Haiti.

The two sides had met just once before, in the 1974 World Cup, when Italy beat Haiti 3-1. The goal from Haiti's Emmanuel Sonan made him a national hero, and while the same might not be said for Millien and Peguero, the Caribbean side fared much better against the four-time World Cup winners.

In New York, Spain fought off a resilient Republic of Ireland outfit to claim a 2-0 win ahead of their opening Confederations Cup match this weekend.

Giovanni Trapattoni's men kept the world champions at bay in the first half, heading into the break with the scores locked at 0-0.

Vicent Del Bosque's second half substitutions proved the difference, with Roberto Soldado and Jesus Navas introduced to create some attacking flair, particularly down Navas' right side.

Soldado found the breakthrough for Spain, volleying a loose ball past helpless goalkeeper David Forde in the 68th minute.

Ireland appeared to equalise deep into the match as Sean St Ledger bundled home a loose ball from a corner, however Simon Cox was in an offside position when he delivered the final touch for the defender.

The introduction of Premier League duo Santi Cazorla and Juan Mata sealed the match, with the Chelsea midfielder latching onto a well timed through ball from the Arsenal attacker to seal the result.

Netherlands strolled to a comfortable 2-0 win against ten-man China in their second of two Far East friendlies.

Captain Robin van Persie's early penalty and a delicious second goal by his predecessor Wesley Sneijder were enough for the Dutch to follow up their win over Indonesia with another.

China were unsurprisingly outplayed by the world's fifth-ranked team but did not disgrace themselves, particularly as they played almost 80 minutes a man down following Qin Sheng's dismissal.

Netherlands's players had their names written in Chinese on their shirts as the KNVB embraced the occasion in Beijing, but the team were in no mood for charity and, after Zheng Zhi headed over for China, the visitors took the lead in the 11th minute.

Jeremain Lens cut the ball back to Arjen Robben, who was taken down in the penalty area by Zhang Linpeng and Van Persie powerfully converted the spot-kick, sending goalkeeper Zeng Cheng the wrong way.

Things quickly went from bad to worse for China as Qin's eighth international appearance ended in the 13th minute, the midfielder dismissed for a studs-up lunge at Jonathan De Guzman.

Sneijder made it 2-0 in the second half with a deft backheeled finish after combining with Van Persie and Robben to create the chance.

Norway secured a 2-0 victory over Macedonia in Oslo.

Per Ciljan Skjelbred headed home the opening goal after nine minutes from a deflected cross, and Daniel Braaten rounded off the victory in the 79th minute with a well-placed finish.

Estonia drew 1-1 with Kyrgyzstan, with Sander Puri's headed opener in the first half cancelled out when Vadim Hartsenko capitalised on a defensive error.

Information from the Press Association was used in this report


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