International roundup: McClaren wins England debut
LONDON -- Steve McClaren's England coaching debut was a success, with Peter Crouch scoring twice in a 4-0 win over European champion Greece on Wednesday.
With David Beckham dropped from the team, there were 30,000 empty seats at Old Trafford. Those who showed up gave the squad a standing ovation as new captain John Terry and Frank Lampard also scored for England.
"A great performance, especially that first half," said McClaren, who took over from Sven-Goran Eriksson after England's subpar performance at the World Cup.
"It was one that we wanted, one that we asked for. We controlled the game through possession, our passing, our patience, our switching of play," McClaren added. "We brought out the best in the players and they played with a bit of freedom."
Elsewhere, Miroslav Klose scored twice to help Germany beat Sweden 3-0. Klose was the overall leading scorer at the World Cup with five goals.
"We applied a lot of pressure from the start and scored two early goals. After that, we could be calm," said coach Joachim Loew, who has taken over from Juergen Klinsmann. "We tried to carry on the momentum from the World Cup and I am very pleased that my first game was successful."
The Dutch team outplayed Ireland in a 4-0 victory in Dublin, the worst home loss for the Irish in 40 years. Klaas Jan Huntelaar, playing instead of Ruud van Nistelrooy, scored twice in his debut.
World Cup winner Italy fielded virtually a third-string lineup in losing 2-0 to visiting Croatia.
Brazil also left out most of its starters -- including Ronaldo, Ronaldinho and Kaka -- and was held to a 1-1 draw by Norway. Brazil hasn't beaten the Norwegians in four meetings.
"Brazil had difficulties in the first half, but the second half was very good," new Brazil coach Dunga said. "Our team played the style our supporters like, with determination, dribbling and creating chances.
World Cup runner-up France needed a last-minute goal from Julien Faubert to beat Bosnia-Herzegovina 2-1.
In the first three qualifying games for the 2008 European Championship, Georgia won 6-0 at the Faeroe Islands with Shota Arveladze scoring three goals. Also, Macedonia beat host Estonia 1-0 and Kazakhstan held Belgium to a 0-0 draw in Brussels.
The powerhouse teams are all building up to their first starts in the competition, however, and played exhibitions.
In other matches, goals by Nicklas Bendtner and Dennis Rommedahl helped Denmark beat Poland 2-0, and Alex Frei scored twice as Switzerland beat Liechtenstein 3-0 in Vaduz.
In Asian Cup qualifying games, Japan beat Yemen 2-0 and, in the same group, Saudi Arabia defeated India 3-0. South Korea won 3-0 at Taiwan but Iran drew 1-1 at home with Syria.
Australia beat Kuwait 2-0 to qualify for the finals in its first attempt.
Also, Cameroon was held to a 1-1 draw by Guinea, while Senegal beat Ivory Coast 1-0. Both matches were played in France.