Black Stars light up Wembley

“Sir Alex Ferguson should try telling Ghana fans that international friendlies are a “waste of time”. A day after the Manchester United boss also labelled the fixtures “worthless”, 21,000 ecstatic Black Stars supporters celebrated Asamoah Gyan’s last-gasp Wembley equaliser as though it had erased all the heartache of last summer’s World Cup quarter-final exit in an instant.” ESPN

England fans are given a glimpse of the future by Fabio Capello
“The pace of change is quickening in this England side, and though Andy Carroll may not be swift in his current half-fit state, the country’s most expensive home-born footballer led the way in an entertaining friendly with his first international goal. A B-team went home with an A for enterprise.” Guardian

England 1 Ghana 1: match report
“Fabio Capello may have 100 words to elucidate his tactical vision but Asamoah Gyan had the final word. Just when England looked to have secured a good victory through Andy Carroll, Gyan equalised brilliantly in the dying moments of one of the finest friendlies in living memory.” Telegraph – Henry Winter

England 1-1 Ghana – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Friendly
The 90th Minute


Afellay’s touch of class shows power of pure technique

“Good technique, though while widely accepted as an essential weapon in the armoury of any professional footballer, is rarely cast as a game-changing element. Having good technique usually means simply being able to control the ball easily, weigh passes appropriately or maintain one’s balance when shooting. Occasionally, however, technique is the difference between winning and losing. More precisely, in the case of Ibrahim Afellay in the Netherlands’ 4-0 defeat of Hungary last Friday, it was the difference between scoring and not scoring.” Football Further

Chandler shines in Paraguay loss, leads German-American invasion

“It’s still early, of course, but the chances are more likely that we’ll remember this week’s two U.S. national-team friendlies less for the results — a 1-1 tie against Argentina and Tuesday’s 1-0 loss to Paraguay — than for the initial impacts made by some young American players.” SI

United States (USA) 0-1 Paraguay – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Friendly
The 90th Minute

Brazil encouraging, but not yet cohesive

“Whereas his predecessor Dunga had a very consistent, specific shape in his latter days as Brazil manager, Mano Menezes has switched between systems. He started off with a 4-2-1-3 against the USA, then moved to a 4-4-2 against France recently. In this game, he was hampered by various withdrawals through injury (particularly attacking players) and therefore sent out a side in a strange 4-3-3ish system, which dominated possession but lacked fluency in the final third of the pitch.” Zonal Marking

Lithuania 1 – 3 Spain

“Xavi and Juan Mata combined to make sure world and European champions Spain were not embarrassed by Lithuania on a difficult surface in Kaunas. Xavi, embarking on his second century of appearances for Spain after winning his 100th cap in their Euro 2012 qualifier against the Cech Republic on Friday, opened the scoring after 20 minutes.” ESPN

Lithuania 1-3 Spain – Video Highlights, Recap, and Match Stats – Euro 2012 Qualifying
The 90th Minute

Holland 5 –3 Hungary: Different Hungary formation, different game

“After their dominant away ’tiki taka style’ victory only a few days ago, Holland manager Van Marwijk will not have felt the slightest incentive to change his line-up either in terms of tactics or his choice of a starting eleven. And with all players fully fit he wasn’t forced into any changes either. This allowed the unique situation of two consecutive matches started by 11 players all playing for different clubs.” 11 tegen 11