Spain and trial video technology 2, France 0

PARIS • Spain's Gerard Deulofeu scored one and created another but had to share the limelight with the video assistant referee in a 2-0 friendly win over France in Paris on Tuesday.

David Silva put the visitors ahead from the penalty spot on 68 minutes after Deulofeu was fouled in the box by France defender Laurent Koscielny.

Deulofeu, who is on loan at AC Milan from Everton, then converted a Silva cross nine minutes later, but his celebrations were briefly curtailed by an offside flag.

The goal, however, was awarded after German referee Felix Zwayer asked the video assistant to check the decision.

Video technology, which was approved by the International Football Association Board last June, had already played a key role in the match after France striker Antoine Griezmann had hit the back of the net with a header early in the second half.

His effort was disallowed after replays showed defender Layvin Kurzawa, who was involved in the move, was offside.

The game really came to life in the second half and will no doubt feed the debate on the use of video technology, which is being tested ahead of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Tuesday's match was the first time it had featured in an international in France.

"If the final decisions are correct, then why not, but it does change football a bit," said France coach Didier Deschamps. "It played against us tonight but I guess it will be the same for everybody. That's the way football is going and we need to adapt to it."

In Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo celebrated his Madeira homecoming with an early strike but Sweden wrecked the party by hitting back from two down to win 3-2 with a last-gasp own goal in a friendly.

The match, Ronaldo's first appearance for Portugal on the island where he was born, took place on the eve of a ceremony to name Madeira airport after the 32-year-old forward, giving the whole evening a testimonial feel.

But the celebrations turned to misery for the 10,000-strong crowd as Joao Cancelo put through his own goal in stoppage time to hand Sweden an unlikely win over the European champions.

In Amsterdam, Italy recovered from an early own goal to beat the Netherlands 2-1 away in a friendly and cap a miserable few days for the hosts, who sacked manager Danny Blind at the weekend.

Before the game, Clarence Seedorf, 40, who played his last match for the national team in 2008, made a long overdue farewell to the international scene.

Fabio Capello and Louis van Gaal were among those in Amsterdam for the farewell speeches as Seedorf was made a "knight of the federation" by the Dutch FA.


A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 30, 2017, with the headline 'Spain and trial video technology 2, France 0'. Print Edition | Subscribe