International round-up: Arsenal's Eduardo shines in Croatia comeback
Cahal Milmo is the chief reporter of The Independent and has been with the paper since 2000. He was born in London and previously worked at the Press Association news agency. He has reported on assignment at home and abroad, including Rwanda, Sudan and Burkina Faso, the phone hacking scandal and the London Olympics. In his spare time he is a keen runner and cyclist, and keeps an allotment.
Thursday 12 February 2009
Eduardo returned to action for the first time since breaking his leg last February and created the winning goal as Croatia won 2-1 in a friendly against Romania in Bucharest. The striker has yet to play for Arsenal's first team since his horrific injury –he broke his fibula and dislocated his ankle in a tackle by Birmingham's Martin Taylor – but came off the bench for the last half-hour and set up Portsmouth's Niko Kranjcar for the decisive goal.
The Newcastle winger Jonas Gutierrez was the unlikely star of Argentina's 2-0 win over France. While Carlos Tevez sat on the bench, Gutierrez scored in the first half. Lionel Messi, Barcelona's in-form striker, was a more predictable scorer of the second goal against a French side that fielded a strike force of Thierry Henry and Nicolas Anelka.
Norway conjured a remarkable victory over Germany in Egil Olsen's first game back in charge. The former Wimbledon manager was reappointed after Norway failed to win a game in 2008. They had not beaten Germany in 73 years – at the 1936 Olympics – but Christian Grindheim's second-half finish from close range earned a 1-0 win in Dusseldorf. It was Germany's second consecutive home defeat after England won in Berlin in November.
Ukraine, another of England's World Cup qualifying opponents enjoyed a useful evening, winning 1-0 in Serbia. They are England's next competitive opponents at Wembley on April Fool's Day.
Didier Drogba played his first game for Ivory Coast in over a year and scored an injury-time equaliser against Turkey in Istanbul.
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