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Dublin: 14 °C Monday 1 September, 2014

Here’s how Ireland’s Euro 2016 qualifying opponents fared in tonight’s friendlies

Germany, Scotland, Poland, Georgia and Gibraltar were all in action tonight.

Mesut Ozil in action for Germany against Chile.
Mesut Ozil in action for Germany against Chile.
Image: Matthias Schrader

GERMANY WERE BOOED off after failing to impress in a fortunate 1-0 win over fellow World Cup side Chile as the South Americans dominated their hosts in tonight’s friendly.

With Barcelona’s Alexis Sanchez in the thick of things, the enterprising Chileans showed why they finished third in the South American qualifying group for the World Cup.

Chile coach Jorge Sampaoli’s side had the Germans under pressure for long spells and created 17 shots to the Germans’ seven. The corner count of Chile’s 14 to Germany’s four told its own tale.

“We go home a little sad,” said Sampaoli. ”The result wasn’t what we imagined, but the performance gives us many positive insights. We have shown that we can compete against one of the best teams.”

The hosts enjoyed only a brief period of pressure in the first-half which led to Mario Goetze’s 16th-minute winner.

“That was a lucky win. I can understand the jeers and whistles,” said Germany captain Philipp Lahm.

“People pay good money to watch us and it’s clear that we have a lot of work to do before the World Cup. But we always prepare well for a World Cup, so I am not worried.”

Chile were only denied an equaliser with an hour gone by the woodwork when Valencia’s Eduardo Vargas clattered the crossbar with Germany goalkeeper Manuel Neuer well beaten.

Despite Chile’s strong start, Germany took the lead when Arsenal’s Mesut Ozil jinxed his way through the Chilean defence. His brief stumble caught the Chilean defenders out and he recovered to find Goetze unmarked for the Bayern Munich midfielder to fire home.

Chile’s best first-half chances came just before the break as midfielder Charles Aranguiz fired wide under intense pressure from Germany defender Kevin Grosskreutz. Then Juventus’ Arturo Vidal fired over the bar moments later.

Chile dominated the second half with Vargas hitting the crossbar after Sanchez’s cross. Sanchez was a constant thorn in the side of the German defence and Neuer then had to pull off a point blank save to deny Vidal.

Schweinsteiger had a great chance late on and was a tireless presence in Germany’s midfield despite his recent return from injury. Arsenal forward Lukas Podolski came off the bench to put pressure on Johnny Herrera when he charged down a clearance in the dying stages as Germany held on.

- © AFP, 2014

Poland Soccer Scotland

Scotland players celebrate Scott Brown's goal.

Source: Czarek Sokolowski

A captain’s goal from Scott Brown gave Scotland a psychological edge in their dress rehearsal tonight for the Euro 2016 qualifiers with Poland. A resolute performance from Gordon Strachan’s men saw them stretch their unbeaten record to five games as Brown scored the only goal of the game with 13 minutes left.

A patient but spirited opening saw both sides play some neat football, with Scotland’s David Marshall forced into the first save of the match after 11 minutes when he tipped a curling left-footed effort from Werder Bremen midfielder Ludovic Obraniak over the crossbar from 25 yards. Poland continued to force the pace and in the 28th minute another long-range effort from Arkadiusz Milik was pushed wide low to his left by Marshall.

Scotland offered their first attempt on goal in injury time when a neat passing move ended with right back Alan Hutton hitting low at Wojciech Szczesny’s legs. Strachan made two changes for the Scots at the break, bringing Darren Fletcher on for his international return, and Steven Naismith also replaced Steven Fletcher up front.

It was Poland who continued to press however, and they should have taken the lead in the 58th minute when a free-kick on the left from Obraniak was met by the unmarked Kamil Glik, who headed downwards but wide with the goal at his mercy. A neat flick from Obraniak then released Milik again in the 65th minute, but he lifted the ball over Marshall and the crossbar from the edge of the six-yard box.

Against the run of play Scotland took the lead in the 77th minute with a brilliant goal from Brown. A cross was only partially cleared by the Polish defence and it fell to the 28-year-old, who emphatically rifled the ball passed the stationary Szczesny from 25 yards. With time running out Poland pushed for an equaliser and Marshall was forced to punch a long-range effort away, but Strachan’s men held on.

Earlier today Georgia were 2-0 winners over Liechtenstein while Gibraltar lost 2-0 at home to Estonia.

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