Tuesday, 27 March 2018
Gareth Southgate questioned the role of VAR in Italy's equaliser. England debutant James Tarkowski was adjudged to have fouled Federico Chiesa inside the area, albeit replays showed the defender appeared to accidentally stand on the substitute's foot. Still, referee Deniz Aytekin pointed to the spot after reviewing the footage, allowing Lorenzo Insigne to draw Italy level in the 87th minute. "I’m glad it’s not a World Cup!" Southgate told ITV Sport. "I think the ruling is clear and obvious [errors] and I don't think that was clear and obvious. It's one you can debate forever. "It looks like Tarkowski stands on him, but that’s in the motion of running and it looks like he was on his way down anyway. "It's designed to stop the deliberate handball or something like that. I think the referee had a good view. "I don't think with incidents like that it [VAR] is going to clear things up 100 per cent. An obvious handball or offside, things like that, but anyway we have to get on with it." "The first five minutes we were very sloppy. After that we settled into the game and probably created more chances than we have done in a lot of matches," Southgate added. England's next game is against Nigeria on June 2nd, before hosting Costa Rica five days later in their final friendly before travelling to Russia.
De Bruyne feels Belgium are improving in good time for the World Cup after a commanding 4-0 friendly win over Saudi Arabia on Tuesday. Belgium were dominant from the off and secured a comfortable victory through a Romelu Lukaku brace and goals from Michy Batshuayi and midfielder De Bruyne. "The second half was better than the first," said De Bruyne. "The way we put pressure was more organised, it was better. "I thought this was a good test to continue to grow. It may not have been an important game, but of course you want to win. This way you create a mentality in which you want to keep winning. "This was also much better than the previous two matches we played." "With Belgium, I now play in a position where I do not get many goals," he said. "But in the last 10 to 15 minutes, I started to play a bit higher [getting a goal and an assist]. "My job is to let the team run as a defensive midfielder. The people in front of me are more than good enough to make the difference."
27 March 2018 Maximiliano Meza was "angry" with his Argentina debut after Jorge Sampaoli's side suffered a humiliating 6-1 defeat against Spain. Meza replaced Messi as Argentina's number 10, but he was unhappy with his first experience of international football. "I wanted to enjoy it, but I'm angry about how the game was lost," Independiente's Meza told TyC Sports. "Internally we will talk to try to correct the errors. There are things to improve. "We have to have the correct mentality and keep working, because that way we get ahead. "In the [pre-match] news conference Jorge said that Spain was one of the best teams. "In the first half, not playing so well, we had chances to take the lead and we were also able to draw, but we could not."