Friendly wins for France, Germany, Croatia, defeat for Austria

A busy night of international friendlies ahead of Euro 2016 saw wins Saturday for tournament hosts France, world champions Germany and goal-happy Croatia

France - who will face Romania on Friday in the Euro opening game - downed Scotland 3-0, with a first-half brace from Olivier Giroud and a goal from defender Laurent Koscielny.

France eased up in the second half as coach Didier Deschamps made several changes to his starting lineup.

The game was accompanied by massive security precautions, in a dress rehearsal for a tournament that has been threatened by the Islamic State organization and other international terrorist groups.

Earlier Saturday, Germany warmed up for the Euros with a 2-0 home defeat of Hungary on an Adam Lang own goal and a second score from Thomas Mueller.

The win restored the optimism of the world champions and took away the bad taste of last week's surprise 3-1 defeat at home to Slovakia.

"The victory gives us stability and a good feeling," Germany coach Joachim Loew said.

"It was also important to keep a clean sheet. The team has come together somewhat and went about their job in a very concentrated way, but there are still a couple of things we have to fine-tune."

Germany playmaker Toni Kroos said: "It was a reasonable test. We moved the ball well and didn't give much away at the back. It was absolutely OK."

At the Euros, Germany will be in Group C, along with Ukraine, Poland and Northern Ireland. They will make their debut June 12 against Ukraine in Lille.

Hungary, who had not reached a major football tournament since 1986, will be in Group F with Austria, Portugal and Iceland, and will start June 14 against Austria in Bordeaux.

Later Saturday, Croatia flexed their muscles with a 10-0 slaughter of feeble San Marino, with a hat-trick by Mario Mandzukic followed by a brace from Nikola Kalinic.

"It is always wonderful to score a lot of goals. That is what football is all about. This puts us in a good mood before going to France," Mandzukic said.

Croatia will be in Group D along with holders Spain, Czech Republic and Turkey.

Also Saturday, Austria - who have been absent from football's big stages since 1998 - crashed 2-0 at home to fallen giants Netherlands, who are the big absentee from the finals, while Slovakia were held 0-0 by defiant Northern Ireland.

Last update: Sat, 04/06/2016 - 23:19
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