England, Portugal enjoy easy warm-up victories

England, Portugal enjoy easy warm-up victories
Portugal's Pepe, Goncalo Guedes, Bernardo Silva and Cristiano Ronaldo celebrate a goal against Algeria. (AP)

Berne - South Korea were held to an unimpressive 0-0 draw against Bolivia

By Reuters/AP

Published: Fri 8 Jun 2018, 10:27 PM

Last updated: Sat 9 Jun 2018, 12:31 AM

England and Portugal enjoyed comfortable home wins in their final World Cup warm-up matches on Thursday, beating Costa Rica 2-0 and Algeria 3-0 respectively.
South Korea were held to an unimpressive 0-0 draw against Bolivia while Iceland, the surprise packages of Euro 2016 who are looking to pull off more upsets in Russia, drew 2-2 at home to Ghana after leading 2-0.
A stunning strike from Marcus Rashford and a Danny Welbeck header gave a confident-looking England victory over the Central Americans in a meeting of two World Cup qualifiers in Leeds.
England, whose manager Gareth Southgate made 10 changes from the side which beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday, dominated possession against a mostly unadventurous Costa Rica side but they created few clear chances.
The match was the last for both teams before their World Cup openers, England facing Tunisia on June 18 and Costa Rica meeting Serbia the day before.
Forward Goncalo Guedes staked his claim for a place in Portugal's starting line-up with two goals in the win over Algeria, who missed out on Russia, at a soggy Stadium of Light in Lisbon.
Guedes fired the European champions ahead from Bernardo Silva's cushioned header and nodded in the third from Raphael Guerreiro's cross.
Captain Cristiano Ronaldo, making his only appearance in the warm-up friendlies, set up the second for Bruno Fernandes to head in. Portugal open their campaign against Spain on June 15.
"We played well, but there's still a lot to improve," Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. "We are not where we want to be but we will be improving during the tournament." 
Portugal, which will travel to Russia on Saturday, had already played two other warm-up matches, drawing Tunisia 2-2 and Belgium 0-0.  Santos will take 13 players to Russia who helped the team win their first major title at the European Championship two years ago in France. 
Portugal will begin their World Cup campaign against Iberian rival Spain on June 15 in Sochi. Their other Group B matches in Russia will be against Morocco and Iran.
Famed for their physique and set-piece prowess, Iceland went ahead in the sixth minute when defender Kari Arnasson headed home a corner via a defender and Alfred Finnbogason made it two before the break.
Ghana, who failed to qualify for the World Cup, hit back through Kasim Nuhu before Thomas Partey fired home three minutes from time.

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