Setback for Argentina

Argentina, World Cup winners in 1986, were beaten 2-0 by Ecuador in a South American qualifying match in Quito yesterday.

Goals from the defender Alberto Montano and the striker Eduardo Hurtado gave Ecuador, who have never qualified for the finals of a World Cup, a sensational success. Daniel Passarella, Argentina's coach, said his team simply did not respond to the high altitude.

Switzerland, England's first opponents at Euro 96, suffered another setback when they lost 2-1 to the Czech Republic in Basle. Protest banners against the Swiss coach, Artur Jorge, an introverted Portuguese who replaced the popular Roy Hodgson at the start of this year, flanked the stadium.

A sixth-minute header by the defender Laurent Blanc gave France victory over Germany in Stuttgart, extending an unbeaten run to 22 games. It was France's first win over their rivals on German soil for more than 40 years.

This came at the end of a week when Bertie Vogts had seen his side miss two penalties in draw with Northern Ireland and his captain, Jurgen Klinsmann, embroiled in a public feud with Germany's most capped player, Lothar Matthaus.

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