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Friendlies wrap up 2013 calendar

Published: Tuesday 19 November 2013, 23.10CET
Friendly round-up: Montenegro, Estonia, Scotland, Turkey, Slovenia, Austria and Malta all ended 2013 with victories in exhibition games staged over the last four days.
Friendlies wrap up 2013 calendar
Austria's Marc Janko celebrates his winning goal against the United States ©Getty Images


Published: Tuesday 19 November 2013, 23.10CET

Friendlies wrap up 2013 calendar

Friendly round-up: Montenegro, Estonia, Scotland, Turkey, Slovenia, Austria and Malta all ended 2013 with victories in exhibition games staged over the last four days.

Wales 1-1 Finland
A late equaliser from Riku Riski earned Finland a share of the spoils at Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday. Andy King headed in a Hal Robson-Kanu cross just before the hour mark, but the Dragons' first match since manager Chris Coleman signed a new two-year contract ended in a draw, a late break allowing Riski the time and space to slot the ball calmly into the net.

Luxembourg 1-4 Montenegro
Even without star men Mirko Vučinić and Stevan Jovetić, Montenegro were too strong for Luxembourg on Sunday. Marko Baša made the breakthrough with a first-half penalty, with Elsad Zverotić, Milan Jovanović and Marko Ćetković all on target in the second period. Aurélien Joachim missed a spot kick for Luxembourg, but Maurice Deville's 65th-minute strike enabled the Grand Duchy to end 2013 having scored nine goals – their best tally for a calendar year.

Moldova 1-1 Lithuania
On Monday, Brazil-born FC Sheriff midfielder Luvannor Henrique made a telling impact on his debut as Moldova recovered to draw with Lithuania. Mindaugas Kalonas, the newly crowned Lithuanian player of the year, broke the deadlock against the run of play just before half-time. Moldova did not lose heart and drew level midway through the second period as Luvannor's stinging shot was turned onto the post by Emilijus Zubas and Artur Ioniţă was quickest to the rebound.

Kyrgyzstan 0-0 Azerbaijan
Azerbaijan's last outing of 2013 – the last match before coach Berti Vogts's two-year deal expires – brought disappointment in Bishkek. Playing an experimental squad, the visitors struggled to gel and had second-choice goalkeeper Salahat Agayev and the upright to thank for keeping a clean sheet in the first half. They improved after the break, but lacked a cutting edge as Kyrgyzstan keeper Pavel Matyash resisted late pressure.

Liechtenstein 0-3 Estonia
Two Henri Anier goals early in the second half earned Estonia victory on a rainy night in Vaduz. The first half was characterised by a lack of threat in the middle third of the field, though the visitors did forge ahead through Sergei Zenjov's effort in added time. Anier then came to the fore to put the game out of reach of Liechtenstein, who rattled a post through Franz Burgmeier.

Norway 0-1 Scotland
Although Norway created the better chances throughout, Gordon Strachan's side scored the only goal in Molde. Celtic FC captain Scott Brown was the author just after the hour, unleashing a shot which deflected off Tore Reginiussen and deceived Ørjan Nyland in the hosts' goal. The result means that Norway coach Per-Mathias Høgmo is without a win in his first four matches in charge, losing three.

Turkey 2-1 Belarus
Turkey followed up Friday's victory over Northern Ireland with this success in Mersin. The home team took the lead after five minutes courtesy of an Umut Bulut strike, yet Belarus were soon level through Vitali Rodionov. Although Rodionov applied the finishing touch, Aleksandr Hleb showed superb skill to tee up his team-mate. Substitute Burak Yılmaz nodded in Arda Turan's right-wing cross to register the winner.

Slovenia 1-0 Canada
Valter Birsa's low strike on 52 minutes was enough for an experimental Slovenia outfit to prevail, with coach Srečko Katanec giving Jan Oblak a chance in goal, handing a first start to defender Miral Samardžič and fielding an unusual forward pair of Zlatko Dedič and Roman Bezjak. Bezjak smashed the bar from distance on 23 minutes, and there were opportunities for Slovenia to extend their advantage after Birsa had ended the stalemate.

Poland 0-0 Republic of Ireland
Adam Nawałka is still awaiting his first victory at the Poland helm since replacing Waldemar Fornalik. Despite making several changes to the team that succumbed 2-0 to Slovakia on Friday, the Poles failed to spark. Nawałka was nonetheless in positive mood at the final whistle, commenting: "I think the performance was better. There is a small light at the end of the tunnel." 

Austria 1-0 United States
David Alaba released György Garics on the right and his low centre was turned in from close range by unmarked forward Marc Janko in the 33rd minute. Austria might have increased their lead early in the second half when Martin Harnik sprung the offside trap, only to curl his shot wide of the post, but there were few chances for either side after that.

Malta 3-2 Faroe Islands
Ryan Fenech put the hosts in front with a thumping drive midway through the first half and then, two minutes later, released captain Michael Mifsud to double Malta's advantage. It was three before half-time, Jonathan Caruana applying the finishing touch to a corner. Though the Faroes gave Malta a scare with goals from Hallur Hanson and Rógvi Baldvinsson, the Mediterranean outfit had done enough.

Last updated: 05/06/15 5.55CET

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