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Thursday, October 29, 2020

Camavinga, Caputo set age marks for France, Italy in friendly wins

France and Italy celebrated notable achievements on opposite ends of the age spectrum on Wednesday as both teams earned big wins in friendly games.

By: AP | October 8, 2020 12:14:34 pm
France's Eduardo Camavinga, left, celebrates after scoring the opening goal during their friendly international soccer match between France and Ukraine (Source: AP)

France and Italy celebrated notable achievements on opposite ends of the age spectrum on Wednesday as both teams earned big wins in friendly games.

The 17-year-old Eduardo Camavinga became France’s youngest scorer in more than 100 years after making his first start for the national team, netting the opening goal in a 7-1 rout of Ukraine in Paris.

The 33-year-old Francesco Caputo became the oldest player to score on his debut for Italy when he grabbed the second goal in a 6-0 win over Moldova in Florence.

The Sassuolo forward broke the record held by Leonardo Pavoletti, who was 30 when he scored in a European Championship qualifier against Liechtenstein last year.

Caputo almost got a second goal, too, but Moldova defender Veaceslav Posmac converted into his own net as he tried to clear.

Stephan El Shaarawy scored twice while Bryan Cristante and Domenico Berardi also netted their first international goals for Italy, which was 5-0 up at the break after a first-half onslaught.

Roberto Mancini fielded an experimental Italy side ahead of the Nations League matches against Poland and the Netherlands on Oct. 11 and 14.

At Stade de France, Olivier Giroud scored twice on his 100th appearance to take his tally to 42 goals, one more than French great Michel Platini and just nine behind France’s all-time top-scorer Thierry Henry.

Camavinga opened the scoring with an acrobatic left-footed strike from outside the box into the top corner. He became the second youngest player to score for France, at 17 years, 11 months. Maurice Gastiger was just six months younger when he scored against Switzerland on March, 8, 1914.

Corentin Tolisso, Kylian Mbappe and Antoine Griezmann also netted for France, while Vitaliy Mykolenko scored an own goal for a Ukraine side depleted by coronavirus cases and injuries. Viktor Tsygankov scored the visitors’ consolation early in the second half.

CARELESS GERMANY

Germany coach Joachim Low left out many regulars for Turkey’s visit to an all-but-empty stadium in Cologne, but he was left disappointed when Kenan Karaman scored in the fourth minute of injury time to grab a 3-3 draw for the guests.

“Disappointed and fed up,” Low said, despite Borussia Monchengladbach midfielder Florian Neuhaus scoring on his Germany debut and Benfica forward Luca Waldschmidt getting his first international goal.

Germany took the lead on three occasions but lacked the concentration to hold on for the win.

The game was overshadowed by fresh allegations of tax evasion by the German soccer federation and by the high number of coronavirus infections in Cologne. Only 300 spectators were allowed to attend.

SPAIN HELD, LIECHTENSTEIN MILESTONE

While the goals were raining in Paris, Florence and Cologne, there were none in Lisbon, where Portugal ended Spain’s 42-game scoring streak in a 0-0 draw. It was the first time Spain had failed to score since a 2-0 defeat to Italy at the 2016 European Championship.

Some 2,500 socially distanced fans attended the match as a test for Portuguese authorities evaluating the possibility of supporters in stadiums amid the pandemic.

Tiny Liechtenstein defeated Luxembourg 2-1 away to record two consecutive victories for the first time after a 2-0 win over San Marino on Sept. 8.

Frank de Boer’s first game in charge of the Netherlands ended in a 1-0 loss to Mexico. Raul Jimenez’ penalty was enough to decide the game in Amsterdam.

Poland enjoyed a 5-1 win over Finland in Gdansk. Kamil Grosicki scored a hat trick as star forward Robert Lewandowski was given the night off.

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