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Nov 11, 2011

Germany in six-goal thriller, Mario magic

Ukraine and Germany shared six goals in a thrilling 3-3 draw in the first competitive match at Kiev's Olympic Stadium.

Andrei Iarmolenko scored the first goal in the new arena in the 28th minute and Evgen Konoplyanka doubled their lead eight minutes later with a stunning solo effort.

Toni Kroos brought Germany back into the game two minutes later, but Sergei Nazarenko restored the home side's deserved two-goal advantage on the stroke of half time.

Simon Rolfes and Thomas Muller were both on target in the second half as Germany only just salvaged a draw. Mario Balotelli was the key man as Italy overcame Poland 2-0 in the international friendly at the Stadion Oporowska, in Wroclaw.

The Manchester City striker blasted the opening goal in the 30th minute before he turned provider for Italy's second when he set up Giampaolo Pazzini after the break.

Jakub Blaszczykowski missed the chance to pull a goal back for Poland from the penalty spot six minutes from the end as Italy's defence held firm to keep a deserved clean sheet. Laurent Blanc's substitutes did the job for France as a goal from Loic Remy gave them a 1-0 friendly victory over the United States in Paris.

The Marseille striker latched onto a pass from fellow substitute Marvin Martin to score the only goal of the game after 72 minutes Netherlands' big-name strikers failed to break down a resolute Switzerland defence as their friendly in the Amsterdam ArenA ended in a goalless draw.

Robin van Persie has been in prolific scoring form for Arsenal lately but even his best efforts failed to breach the Switzerland defence and coach Bert van Marwijk's side had to settle for a draw.

Switzerland keeper Diego Benaglio was also in fine from as he denied Van Persie and his fellow forwards on several occasions. Kenny Miller and Jamie Mackie struck glorious goals to give Scotland a narrow 2-1 friendly victory in against Cyprus Larnaca.

Miller fired a stunning dipping volley midway through the first half after a shaky start from the visitors.

Mackie brilliantly cut inside his marker before sliding home the second in the 56th minute but Dimitris Christofi soon pulled one back. Hungary thrashed minnows Liechtenstein 5-0 at the Ferenc Szusza Stadium. Ipswich striker Tamas Priskin scored a first-half brace before goals by Balazs Dzsudzsak, Vladimir Koman and Robert Feczesin finished the rout. Elsewhere, Denmark beat Sweden 2-0 thanks to goals by Nicklas Bendtner and Michael Krohn-Delhi. Bendtner, who is currently on loan at Sunderland from Arsenal, opened the scoring in the 34th minute before Krohn-Delhi sealed the win 10 minutes before the final whistle. A Razvan Cocis own goal handed Belgium a 2-1 win over Romania at the Koning Boudewijn Stadion. Belgium defender Daniel van Buyten scored the opener in the 11th minute and Cocis doubled the home side's lead two minutes before half-time with an own goal. Daniel Niculae pulled one back for Romania in the 65th minute and Razvan Rat missed a penalty two minutes before the end which would have earned his side a draw. Mexico recorded a 2-0 win over Serbia in Queretaro thanks to goals at either end of the game from Carlos Salcido and Javier Hernandez. Salcido, who is on loan at Mexican club UANL from Fulham, broke the deadlock after just two minutes when his cross from the left found its way into the far corner of the net. Manchester United striker Hernandez then doubled the score three minutes from time when he sent Serbia goalkeeper Vladimir Stojkovic the wrong way from the penalty spot to seal the victory for Mexico in their final game of 2011. The kick was awarded following a shove on Hernandez by Manchester City defender Aleksandar Kolarov, who was subsequently shown a second yellow card and sent for an early bath. Greece held Russia to a 1-1 draw at the Karaiskakis Stadium after Alan Dzagoev's second-minute goal was cancelled out by Kostas Katsouranis's 59th-minute effort. Georgia beat Moldova 2-0 thanks to a first-half goal by Otar Martsvaladze and Jano Ananidze's penalty. Both sides were reduced to 10 men in the 76th minute when Aleqsandr Kobakhidze and Moldova's Igor Armas were sent off. In other results, Azerbaijan beat Albania 1-0, Burkina Faso drew 1-1 against Mali and Cameroon beat Sudan 3-1.

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