Fellaini nets brace as Belgium flatten France; Brazil blank Mexico
Manchester United midfielder Marouane Fellaini scored twice as Belgium produced a scintillating attacking display to win 4-3 away to France on Sunday.
With the European Championship one year away, Belgium -- second in FIFA's rankings -- will certainly be one of the team's to watch.
Even more so after this accomplished performance against World Cup quarterfinalist France, which scored two late consolation goals to soften a humiliating defeat.
Fellaini pounced with a close-range finish in the 17th minute and a powerful header in the 42nd to put Belgium 2-0 up at halftime, and Roma midfielder Radja Nainggolan made it 3-0 shortly after the break.
France winger Mathieu Valbuena scored a penalty in the 53rd minute, before Eden Hazard made it 4-1, also from the spot.
Substitutes Nabil Fekir and Dimitri Payet pulled late goals back for France.
Philippe Coutinho and Diego Tardelli scored a goal each in the first half to give Brazil a 2-0 win over Mexico in a warmup for the Copa America on Sunday.
It was a lacklustre match at the Allianz Parque in Sao Paulo, with the teams creating few scoring opportunities throughout the game.
Coutinho put Brazil ahead with a beautiful angled shot from inside the area in the 28th minute. He got past defender Hugo Ayala and sent a right-footed shot in between the post and goalkeeper Jesus Corona, who appeared to be expecting a cross. It was Coutinho's first goal with Brazil's national team.
Tardelli added to the lead in the 37th minute with an easy goal from close range after receiving a perfect pass from midfielder Elias inside the area.
England's first trip to the Republic of Ireland in 20 years passed off without incident on the pitch and in the stands as the two neighbours played out a goalless bore draw at the Aviva Stadium.
England boss Roy Hodgson said on the eve of the game that he was expecting an "electric" atmosphere, but there was barely a flicker of excitement from the stands during the match due to the poor quality football on display.
Ireland, who are 47 places below England in the FIFA rankings, had the better chances.
Daryl Murphy wasted two good opportunities to score in the first half and Joe Hart did well to save Jon Walters' fierce shot after the break.
England managed just three attempts on target all match.
Coach Fabio Capello's Russia came from behind to beat Belarus 4-2 thanks to goals from two young newcomers.
Russia led through Alexander Kokorin's 20th-minute opener before two goals from Sergei Kislyak put Belarus ahead.
Capello made six second-half substitutions, bringing on some well-known faces, but it was two 19-year-olds who changed the game once off the bench.
Midfielder Alexander Golovin, who is not even a regular for his club CSKA Moscow, equalized in style on 77 minutes. Six minutes later, Alexei Miranchuk put Russia ahead, with the Lokomotiv Moscow winger firing in a low shot.
Veteran striker Alexander Kerzhakov added Russia's fourth on a counterattack in stoppage time.
Serbia were run-out 4-1 winners against visiting Azerbaijan at NV Arena.
Chelsea right-back Branislav Ivanovic collected goals in the 10th and 63rd minute, while Adem Ljajic and Lazar Markovic rounded off the scoring superb Serbs.
Croatia warmed up for their Euro qualifier against Italy with a 4-0 win over minnows Gibraltar. Anas Sharbini, Mateo Kovacic, Mario Mandzukic and Andrej Kramaric all scored for the hosts in Varazdin.
Taghyoullah Denna's 74th-minute penalty was the difference in a 1-0 game as Mauritania stunned Senegal, a team ranked 113 points above them in the FIFA rankings.
Southampton's Victor Wanyama scored a penalty in the first half as Kenya defeated South Sudan 2-0 in Rwanda. Michael Olunga added a goal in stoppage time.
Rwanda then defeated visiting Tanzania 2-0 behind goals by Patrick Sibomana and Yannick Mukunzi.
A stoppage-time goal from defender Luis Ismael Diaz carried the Dominican Republic to a 1-0 win over Haiti.