Ibra punishes England, Argentina held, France beat Italy

By
Updated: November 15, 2012

Zlatan Ibrahimovic pulled the strings for Sweden with 4 goals, as they came from behind to beat England, Lionel Messi fired blanks as Argentina were held by Saudi Arabia, France beat Italy, Holland and Germany played out a dull draw and World Champions Spain beat Panama on a busy night of international friendlies.

It was a one man show in Sweden, as Ibrahimovic scored 4 goals, burying an experimental England 4-2. England with 6 new players managed to get to half time with a 2-1 lead thanks to goals from Welbeck and Caulker, however in the second half it was all about the PSG striker. He equalised with a shot after a beautiful piece of chest control, slammed in a low free kick to put the Swedes ahead but saved the best until last with an acrobatic overhead kick from 25 metres in a superb exhibition of finishing.

Pedro scored twice for European champions Spain while David Villa and Sergio Ramos were also on the scoresheet in a 5-1 win against lowly Panama.

Bafetimbi Gomis came off the bench to give France a 2-1 victory in Parma against Euro 2012 runners-up Italy. Mario Balotelli set up Stephan El Shaarawy to put Italy ahead with his first goal for his country but France hit back almost immediately with a superb strike from Mathieu Valbuena.

Messi failed in his bid to set an outright record for the most Argentina goals in a calendar year when they drew 0-0, the same scoreline between German and Holland.

Highly-rated Belgium got a reality check as they lost 2-1 in a friendly in Romania while Poland were beaten 3-1 at home by Uruguay with Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani both scoring.