Despite losing both friendly encounters to Trinidad and Tobago, Guyana senior men’s Head coach Jamaal Shabazz says their objectives were met, as the players that made the trip to the twin island republic gained invaluable experience that will assist to shape their future in the sport.

The Golden Jaguars lost 1-2 and 0-2 to Angus Eve’s Soca Warriors at the Crawford Stadium, in Port of Spain, but for Shabazz, the fixtures served their purpose of gauging the readiness of players, who competed in recently concluded Round One of the KFC Elite League Season, especially with the Concacaf World Cup qualifiers scheduled to get under way next month.

“We did not win, but a lot of questions were answered as to who is ready to move into our full international squad. We achieved our other objectives. We got higher level match practice for the likes of Daniel Wilson, Kelsey Benjamin, Curtez Kellman, Colin Nelson and Ryan Hackett, all of whom travel with our first team. We gave valuable exposure to players like Marcus Tudor, Simeon Moore, Chris Macey and Stephen McDonald, just to name a few,” Shabazz shared.

“It is clear that player for player we were able to match our opponents. Some boys gave a good account of themselves, and some were a bit nervous. Most importantly, the lads would have learnt a few lessons for their future, like the margin for error at international level is small and the need for more composure in front of goal,” he added.

Aside from those he mentioned, Shabazz also had three overseas-based players from Canada, France and the United States, in his 24-member squad, and by all indications, a few more might be assessed, as the tactician prepares to select his final squad for the qualifiers.

Guyana will contest Group D of the qualifiers, alongside Panama, Montserrat, Belize and Nicaragua. They are set to open against Panama in Panama City on June 6, followed by the Belize encounter on June 11 in Barbados.

Shabazz expressed gratitude for the continued support in gifting local-based players the opportunity to showcase their potential, and challenge for spots in the final squad.

“I must thank the Government of Guyana and the Guyana Football Federation for enabling this exposure for the home-based players. At least twice a year we should get these types of matches for home-based players to develop,” Shabazz noted.

Trinidad and Tobago’s Head coach Angus Eve welcomed the outcome of their two-match friendly series against Guyana, but in the same breath, says he is bracing for even tougher assignments when kick off the 2026 World Cup qualifiers next month.

Though pleased that a few local-based players gave him much to think about in their 2-1 and 2-0 win over Jamaal Shabazz’s Guyana outfit, Eve again rued Trinidad and Tobago’s citizenship laws, which he believes puts them at a slight disadvantage against regional opponents, who have the luxury of importing heritage players from elsewhere around the world.

As such, Eve, who used the Guyana fixtures to fine-tune tactics and expose more players to the national team, is hoping to get the necessary support to spur his Soca Warriors on throughout the World Cup qualifying campaign, which gets under way against Grenada on June 5.

“I think when we used to play before, going against Grenada was a foregone conclusion,” Eve said as he reminisced on the twin island republic ‘s dominance in the past.

“But the immigration laws in this country do not help us. We do know Grenada has a lot of players coming back from England. They might not be the quality as those for Jamaica, but we do know they have a lot of those sort of players coming back,” he reasoned during a post-match interview.

Eve and his men will also have St Kitts and Nevis, Costa Rica and The Bahamas to contend with in Group B.

Former Soca Warriors and Manchester United striker Dwight Yorke recently joined the call for a review in the citizenship laws, which states that “A person shall not become a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago, if at the time of his birth – (a) neither of his parents is a citizen of Trinidad and Tobago.” Until such changes are made, both Yorke and Eve believe Trinidad and Tobago will remain on the backfoot when compared to other nations.

“So, we need the 12th man to be on board with us. The guys are going to come out and give everything that they have, so it’s just for the fans to come out and support the team. The 23 players and the TTFA alone can’t qualify. We need support from corporate, the Government, the fans, the normal man in the street, because when the team does qualify, then all of us will be celebrating as a nation. So, we need a national effort to qualify,” Eve stated.

That said, the tactician quickly pointed out that the team still has much to do in terms of their technical and tactical efficiency, particularly those local players who might be included in the final squad.

“I think it could have been a bigger scoreline (against Guyana). We gave some sloppy chances, and we have to alleviate those problems when we play the next team,” Eve declared.

He named midfielders Matthew Woo Ling and Daniel David and veteran striker Kevon “Showtime” Woodley, who scored in both games, among those that impressed against the Jaguars.

“I thought when we put them on in the second half, it changed the game, and we got a little bit more tempo and we got more penetration. So, very happy for these guys. They got the opportunity and I thought that they grasped it with both hands. A number of them gave us some stuff to think about, so there is a lot of positive,” Eve noted.

 

Trinidad and Tobago's Head coach Angus Eve and his Guyanese counterpart Jamaal Shabazz welcomed the upcoming two-match friendly international series as a window to not only give new players an opportunity to strut their stuff, but also to gauge their overall readiness for the World Cup qualifiers.

The senior Soca Warriors and their Jaguars counterparts will lock horns on May 13 and 15 at the Hasely Crawford Stadium in Mucurapo, as they kick start preparations for the FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June, as well as the Concacaf Nations League campaign in September.

Eve pointed out that a handful of new players will be given the opportunity in the two matches owing to their good form in the ongoing 2023/24 T&T Premier Football League (TTPFL) season.

Defenders Sheldon Bateau, Josiah Trimmingham and Andre Raymond, who became a regular fixture at left back toward the backend of the Soca Warriors' 2023/24 Nations League campaign, have completed their respective club seasons and are expected to be involved in the friendlies. Daniel David, Ezekiel Kesar, Isaiah Lee, Matthew Woo-Ling and the Miscellaneous Police FC pair of Simeon Bailey and Josiah Wilson, will also be in the mix to stake a claim on a spot in the squad for the major tournaments.

"We see these games as a very important cog in the wheel of our preparations going into the World Cup campaign for 2026," Eve said, via a T&T Football Association release.

"It's an ongoing programme that we have started since I have come on board where we get some international games to get the locally based players up to speed to see how they perform against international opposition,” he added.

Guyana, guided by Shabazz, a former T&T coach, gained promotion for the upcoming Nations League A campaign after topping their Nations League B group, which included Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas and Puerto Rico. This represents their competitiveness and quality which Eve is expecting to see on show against his team.

"Guyana is also in the League A of the Nations League so it's not slouches we will be playing. It gives the local players a final opportunity to be seen outside of their league against international opposition so that we can pick the final squad. That is what these exercises are about,” Eve noted.

That said, the tactician explained that meetings with recently-elected TTFA president Kieron Edwards, have been fruitful.

"The TTFA president has been in the media saying how positive the meetings were and we think they were also positive from our end. He and his new board are committed to helping us and the country to qualify for another World Cup,” Eve shared.

Meanwhile, Shabazz believes the Soca Warriors are formidable opponents, as he praised the TTFA and the Guyana Football Federation for their huge investments with the staging of the friendly matches.

"Of course, whether it is football, cricket, hockey or rugby, when Guyana plays T&T, we want to win so it's also going to be a title fight. Trinidad and Tobago are formidable opponents, and it will provide a stern test for the home-based players vying for a spot in the final squad for our FIFA World Cup qualifiers in June,” Shabazz said.

The last meeting between the two teams at the same venue ended in a 1-1 stalemate two years ago.

Kick-off will be 7 pm on both days, with tickets priced at $75 (covered section) and $50 (uncovered section).

 

Scotland defender Jack Hendry will remain positive and make the most of their Euro 2024 opportunity after a seventh game without a win saw some fans turn against the team.

Boos rang out during and after the 1-0 Hampden defeat by Northern Ireland as Scotland failed to make the most of the vast majority of possession.

Conor Bradley’s first-half strike, which came courtesy of Nathan Patterson’s error, gave Michael O’Neill’s young side something to hold on to, and they did so successfully as Scotland struggled to hit the target or carve out a series of clear-cut chances.

Scotland had not gone seven matches without victory for 19 years – that sequence helped spell the end of Berti Vogts’ reign as manager.

But such runs can turn quickly in the other direction, just as Steve Clarke’s side followed up their flying start to their European qualifying campaign with this sticky spell.

The 2005 low point was followed by a run which saw Scotland lose just twice in 14 matches, under Walter Smith and Alex McLeish, and Hendry abruptly dismissed suggestions their form was a concern heading into their group campaign against hosts Germany, Switzerland and Hungary.

When asked about the Hampden reaction, the centre-back added: “It probably says a lot about how successful we have been that they are disappointed with that result.

“Look, we were extremely disappointed in that changing room as well but it shows how far we have come that they are disappointed with that type of performance against Northern Ireland.

“We know the fans’ frustration, we understand it, and we will try and make them extremely proud in the summer.

“We have done extremely well to get ourselves into the Euros and won’t let that slip by us.

“We will go into that camp in June extremely positive, with the motive to try and get out of that group.

“It’s about remaining positive, sticking together and believing we are heading in the right direction, because we are, we believe we are.

“It’s disappointing but we have a lot to look forward to in the summer, and so do the fans. So we have just got to stick together and stay positive.”

Scotland were generally slow in possession before becoming more direct as the second half progressed, as key attacking players struggled to reach their recent standards.

Hendry said: “Northern Ireland made it very difficult for us. We just didn’t seem to get into the game. It was probably important we scored first in the match and we didn’t do that.

“Northern Ireland obviously got a break and managed to hold on to the lead and we struggled to break them down.

“These games happen, we won’t dwell on it too long. We will look forward to meeting up in the summer.

“It was just one of those nights. We dominated the game, possession-wise, it was just unfortunate we couldn’t break them down.

“You have sometimes got to give plaudits to the opposition. Northern Ireland defended really well, we were unfortunate not to break them down.

“We just take it on the chin, we stick together, we remain positive. It’s a setback but we will bounce back from it pretty quickly. We will certainly learn from it but not dwell on it too much.”

Gareth Southgate says he is facing a “complicated” Euro 2024 selection choice given England’s potential fitness and availability issues heading into the summer.

This is the first time since the 2018 World Cup that the 57-cap former defender is having to pick a 23-man squad for a major tournament after it was expanded to 26 following the coronavirus pandemic.

But Southgate could name even more than that at the provisional squad announcement on May 21 as the England boss will have injury concerns to deal with and the late arrival of key players.

The final squad is not due to be submitted to UEFA until June 8, but some may not even have joined up with the team by that point due to cup finals, denting numbers for the warm-up friendlies against Bosnia and Iceland.

Asked how many extra headaches returning to a 23-man squad will throw up given the issues he is juggling, Southgate said: “Yeah, it’s going to be complicated, because firstly the injury situations that we have.

“Some will be back playing at the weekend, some will be back playing in a couple of weeks, some will be really close to the end of the season.

“Then we’re going to have the European finals, the FA Cup final and the two friendlies that we’ve got ourselves.

“It’s inevitable we’re going to be naming a longer squad, which is what we did before the Euros here even though we were dealing with 26 then.

“We really don’t know (how many will be in the provisional squad) because there are so many questions on the injuries at the moment.

“But we’ve gained valuable information about so many players this this week.”

Absentee-hit England suffered their first defeat in 15 months in Saturday’s late 1-0 loss Brazil at Wembley, where Jude Bellingham scored an even later goal to salvage a 2-2 draw against Belgium three days later.

Southgate had to experiment far more than he expected during the friendly double-header due an unprecedented injury list that left him without a third of the 40-odd players on his long list against Brazil.

Bukayo Saka, Harry Kane, Harry Maguire, Kyle Walker and Sam Johnstone all withdrew from the squad over the course of the camp, with Jordan Henderson unable to feature in either match.

“I had a plan on Saturday night for Tuesday that got blown apart in 12 hours, so to have a plan for something in two and a half months’ time at the moment is faintly ridiculous.” Southgate said.

“We know some of the core parts of that, we know who’s been able to play at that level, who our very best players are.

“And the rest, we’ve got a lot clearer picture of what people are capable of from the two games that we’ve played.

“We’re just going to see how people are when they come back into form, whether they can do that fitness-wise with their clubs.”

Anthony Gordon, Ezri Konsa and Kobbie Mainoo all made their debuts over recent days, with Ivan Toney registering his first goal – from the penalty spot – against Belgium on his first international start.

The quartet boosted their chances of making the plane to Germany, with 18-year-old Mainoo’s stock arguably growing the highest.

The Manchester United talent staked his claim for a midfield spot with out-of-sorts Kalvin Phillips omitted, Trent Alexander-Arnold injured and Henderson unavailable.

Mainoo won his first cap off the bench against Brazil and, just four months after making his first Premier League start, was named player of the match for his display on his full England debut on Tuesday.

“He gives us a different profile of midfield player to anything else we’ve got,” Southgate said.

“He’s adapted and adjusted brilliantly. You can’t believe his age, really, that he’s just taking it all in his stride as he has.”

Asked if he was confident Mainoo could shut out the noise after such an impressive full debut, he said: “I think, firstly, he seems very mature, very calm. He knows he’s making his way.

“We’re absolutely delighted with what he’s done, first and foremost, and then there’s a lot of the season still to be played with his club.”

Seamus Coleman is confident former team-mate John O’Shea has made a case for himself in the race to succeed Stephen Kenny as Republic of Ireland manager.

The 35-year-old Everton defender returned to the international stage after a year’s absence when interim boss O’Shea selected him in his squad for the friendlies against Belgium and Switzerland and then started him as captain in both games.

Coleman made his Ireland debut alongside O’Shea against Wales in February 2011 and the pair played together for their country until the former Manchester United man retired from international football in June 2018.

Asked about the vacancy and the 42-year-old’s chances of filling it after Tuesday night’s 1-0 defeat by the Swiss, Coleman said: “I don’t want to sound like someone who’s played a couple of games for the manager and I am doing all I can to get him in, but being completely honest, the way he has conducted himself, how impressive he has been…

“My time will be up soon, but going forward for the future – so it’s not on a personal level – I think the way he’s carried himself, the work that he, [coaches] Paddy [McCarthy], Glenn [Whelan] have done behind the scenes has been really impressive, what he has done for his country, that respect he has from people instantly…

“I think he will be in the running. I have no idea, but why not be in the running for it? And I’d be delighted for him – but that’s above my pay grade.”

The search for Kenny’s replacement – he was relieved of his duties in November after a disappointing Euro 2024 qualifying campaign – has extended to four months, although the Football Association of Ireland’s director of football Marc Canham has indicated that an announcement, which has been delayed by “existing contractual obligations”, will come in early April.

With leading candidate Lee Carsley, the European Championship-winning England Under-21s boss, having ruled himself out of the running, speculation has been rife as to the identity of the successful candidate.

Greece manager Gus Poyet, whose side lost their Euro 2024 play-off final clash with Georgia on penalties on Tuesday evening, is out of contract at the weekend and is the current favourite with the bookmakers, although O’Shea’s temporary tenure has been well received.

Asked about the interregnum and its impact on the players, Coleman said: “As captain, I care about the players and all the rest of that, but that’s not my job to figure out who the manager’s going to be.

“I am a player, I have always been a player, I don’t stand out of my zone. I have never been one to speak about people above me or anything like that, it’s not my job.

“Whoever it is will give their all for it. I think there’s a case for John, the way he’s carried himself, what he has done for the country. He has coached for a period of time now, the lads all really enjoyed it.

“Whoever that will be, we will find out soon and as always, we will have massive pride in representing our country and give our all for whoever will be in charge.”

Ivan Toney scored on his first England start in the friendly draw with Belgium and is now aiming to make up for lost time by securing a place at Euro 2024.

The Brentford striker won and scored a penalty either side of a Youri Tielemans brace for the visitors, who looked on course for a Wembley win before Jude Bellingham’s last-gasp effort secured a 2-2 draw.

It was Toney’s full England debut and just his second cap, coming exactly a year after his first.

For the majority of that year Toney was sidelined through suspension, having been banned for eight months after breaching Football Association betting rules.

He returned to action for Brentford in January and has scored four goals for the Bees since, while England boss Gareth Southgate kept a watching brief.

“It was always going to be hard to watch knowing I should have been there,” Toney said of England games he missed while banned.

“But that’s done and dusted now. I can’t change it. There’s no point dwelling on something I can’t change because it’ll just hurt me even more.

“But hopefully I can make the Euros squad and put things right. I try to be confident, but let’s see what happens.”

There was a long delay between Toney winning the spot-kick for a foul by Jan Vertonghen and then coolly converting from 12 yards.

For Toney, though, the outcome of the penalty was never in doubt.

“It felt very good,” he told BeIN Sports.

“This morning I spoke to my friends and I said I feel a penalty today and when I ran in behind, I felt the contact and there was no doubt that it was a penalty.

“So it is just patience, really – wait for the keeper to get on the line and do what I do best.

“I practise them all the time, every day and just pretend it is a training pitch and put in the back of the net and I’ve done that.”

While Toney impressed and got off the mark for England, there were other standout displays.

Manchester United teenager Kobbie Mainoo’s midfield performance was particularly eye-catching, while Jarrod Bowen enjoyed arguably his best night in an England shirt too.

The 27-year-old West Ham forward looked sharp on his seventh cap but saw his first England goal chalked off when VAR ruled him offside as he headed home in the first half.

Bowen is also hopeful of squeezing into Southgate’s ranks in Germany.

“There is no question I want it more than ever,” he told BBC Radio 5Live. “The main thing now is to go back to West Ham, hit the ground running there, keep doing what I’ve been doing all season and hope I get the opportunity.

“There is a lot of football to be played before that squad is named. I have been in a good place this season and the main thing was to continue to do what I’ve been doing.”

Gareth Southgate praised Jude Bellingham’s never-say-die attitude after saving England from defeat against Belgium at the end of an international break that provides plenty of food for thought ahead of the Euros.

Among the favourites for glory this summer, the side third in FIFA’s world rankings stepped up preparations with a pair of high-level friendlies against the nations directly behind them in those standings.

Brazil are fifth and struck late on Saturday to inflict a first defeat on England in 15 months, which fourth-placed Belgium looked set to compound at rainy Wembley three days later.

Youri Tielemans opened the scoring after a Jordan Pickford error, with a Lewis Dunk mistake resulting in the Aston Villa midfielder scoring again after Ivan Toney had converted a penalty on his first senior start.

Fellow full debutants Ezri Konsa and, in particular, 18-year-old Kobbie Mainoo also impressed in a friendly that ended 2-2 after Bellingham struck at the end of second half stoppage time.

“I liked it because I know the rubbish we would have got if we lost two games on the bounce,” the Real Madrid midfielder told Channel 4.

“These are two games that are going to stand us in good stead going into the Euros. I know people will be negative but you have to take these games for what they are.

“You’ve got to keep perspective. We had a lot of lads making debuts (this week) and a lot of lads I’ve never played with. We created a lot of chances. I should have scored (previously). I was happy I could make it up to the team.”

England boss Southgate told the post-match press conference: “Jude, of course, is the headline.

“That competitive spirit, that desire not to lose, desire to win in the end, was decisive in getting the late goal.

“But I thought the whole team showed that throughout the game and recovered from setbacks with a pretty inexperienced team, really, against a team that have got some very, very good players. Very pleased with a lot of what I saw tonight.”

Bellingham pulled the Euro 2024 hopefuls through at the end of a challenging international meet-up marred by injuries.

John Stones joined England’s eye-watering absentee list when limping off with an adductor issue within 10 minutes on Tuesday, when Mainoo’s man-of-the-match performance was among a number of impressive displays.

“The great thing is definitely some players have emerged positively from the opportunities they’ve had,” Southgate said reflecting on the Brazil and Belgium friendlies.

“We’ve perhaps got more depth in one respect, but the injuries are a concern. We’ve got so many players missing at the moment, and we’ve still got the real heat of the season to come, with the intensity of the games, what’s resting on the games.

“We’re not going to know what we’re left with until right until the end but we’ll just have to make the best decisions that we possibly can.”

Southgate praised Toney, Jarrod Bowen and James Maddison for their attacking impact against Belgium, while Anthony Gordon has also earned plaudits during the week.

Southgate has plenty to mull over ahead of announcing his provisional squad on May 21, which has to be whittled down to a 23-man group by June 8.

“In terms of knowing the 23, there’s so many unknowns at the moment in terms of who might be available,” Southgate said.

“So, yes, these performances were very important for players to be able to see whether or not they could play against high level opposition.

“But equally the way they play between now and the end of the season with their club, in big matches is going to have a high tariff as well so we will track all of that.”

Steve Clarke remains confident that Scotland will be ready for Euro 2024 this summer despite their winless run being extended to seven games with a 1-0 friendly defeat by Northern Ireland at Hampden Park.

The Scotland boss was looking for a response following a 4-0 defeat to the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night but midfielder Conor Bradley’s first international goal gave Northern Ireland a first win in Mount Florida in 50 years.

Scotland have not been on a seven-game winless run since August 2004 to March 2005 and they take on Gibraltar and Finland in June friendlies before facing Euro 2024 hosts Germany in the opening game of the tournament at the Allianz Arena.

“I’m not counting,” said Clarke, who revealed captain Andrew Robertson will be assessed at Liverpool after going off with an injury. “We are going to be ready in June and that is the most important thing.

“The performance was okay, we wanted to win the game.

“Credit to Northern Ireland, I thought they were excellent, good shape, discipline, defended with their lives. We had 14 shots blocked, that is good defending.

“They had two chances and scored with one of them.

“They got the goal with the deflection, we didn’t find enough to get the goal to equalise or go on to win the game.

“We had a lot of the game. We tried our best to open them up. It was difficult to find space.

“It was a totally different game to what we have played recently, we were playing against the top teams and they open the pitch and you saw on Friday night that we manged to create a number of really good chances.

“Tonight when we needed a little bit of craft or guile towards the last third of the pitch we couldn’t find that and that is basically why we lose the game.

“We had more than the lion’s share of possession, 14 shots, but not one good enough to go into the back of the net.

“It’s probably fair to say we’re not very good at friendlies because we don’t win too many of them.

“Let’s hope when we come to the competitive games in June we are ready to go. I’m sure we will be.

“The biggest thing for us is to be ready for June.

“I’m a little bit late into the press conference. I would rather be sitting here in my position.

“Unfortunately Wales have just been knocked out on penalty kicks. It’s not all doom and gloom.”

John O’Shea insists he is “more than ready” for management despite his spell as interim Republic of Ireland boss ending in disappointment.

The former Manchester United and Ireland defender, placed in charge for this month’s friendly double-header against Belgium and Switzerland, saw his side go down 1-0 to the Swiss on Tuesday evening after Saturday’s 0-0 draw against the Belgians.

Football Association of Ireland chiefs have indicated they will name Stephen Kenny’s successor early next month with O’Shea having attracted popular support over the last week or so.

Asked what his instinct is on his own future, he said: “My instinct would be that I’m more than ready and capable to be a manager.”

O’Shea has vast experience of international football as a player – he was capped 118 times for Ireland – and has worked as a coach with both the Under-21s and the senior squad under Kenny as well as holding club roles with Reading, Stoke and Birmingham.

Asked if he would seek clarity from the FAI over his chances of being considered for the vacancy, the 42-year-old replied: “I think that’s something that we will obviously discuss later on.

“For me, the full focus was on the two games, enjoy the moment, learn from it and really understand it, learn about myself in terms of how I cope with the situation, with the games, and learn do I want to do it more.

“And look, the emphatic answer from me would be, yes. But where that is, let’s wait and see.

“As I’ve mentioned before, it’s only given me a taste for more, whether that be with Ireland or with club football or whatever the case may be.

“It’s something I’ve loved every minute of and I’ve been fully engrossed with it. It’s just annoying that we didn’t get a win in either of the two games.”

O’Shea’s second game at the helm proved more frustrating than the first as Ireland largely played second fiddle to a side ranked 43 places above them.

It was ultimately settled by Xherdan Shaqiri’s expertly-dispatched 23rd-minute free-kick, but Euro 2024-bound Switzerland were superior for much of the game – skipper Granit Xhaka rattled the post after pouncing on a first-half error by keeper Gavin Bazunu – and ran out deserved winners.

Ireland mounted a late fightback after struggling to create meaningful opportunities until the closing stages, but even then, lacked the precision to convert the pressure into genuine chances.

O’Shea said: “Look, like I spoke to the players about beforehand and beforehand against Belgium too, that’s the level you want to be competing at to qualify for major tournaments.

“Belgium and Switzerland qualify for major tournaments year after year after year, so you have to compete, you have to be clinical and we weren’t clinical enough in the two games.

“That’s something obviously we have to really nail down in terms of taking chances, making that decision in terms of controlling it, the right pass, the right time and being really clinical and getting back to winning games again.”

Lucas Paqueta scored a stoppage-time penalty as Brazil came from behind for a second time to claim a 3-3 draw in their international friendly in Spain.

Spain captain Rodri looked to have won the match for the hosts with his second spot-kick of the night, three minutes from time in Madrid.

The Manchester City midfielder had also opened the scoring in a thrilling contest at the Bernabeu Stadium with his first effort after 16 minutes before Dani Olmo added a superb second.

Brazil hit back through Rodrygo and Real Madrid-bound teenage star Endrick, and Paqueta snatched the draw after Rodri had put Spain back ahead.

Spain started strongly with 16-year-old Barcelona star Lamine Yamal an immediate handful.

The youngster blazed an early chance over and then won the penalty from which his side took the lead after jinking into the area and being brought down by Joao Gomes.

Rodri made no mistake with a shot straight down the middle.

Vinicius Junior, who was playing at his home ground and the focus of much pre-match attention, had Brazil’s first opportunity after a powerful run by Rodrygo but shot tamely at Unai Simon.

Spain wanted another penalty after Nico Williams was fouled by Bruno Guimaraes but the offence was just outside the area.

The hosts increased their advantage after 36 minutes with a dazzling effort from Olmo. Yamal was again involved with a well-weighted pass but the goal was all about Olmo’s nimble footwork as he weaved through three challenges before curling a shot past Bento.

Yet, as stunning as that was, Brazil pulled one back almost immediately after a poor error by Simon. The goalkeeper’s pass for Fabian Ruiz was far too weak and Rodrygo was quick to swoop, expertly lifting the ball back over Simon.

Brazil introduced Endrick at half-time and it did not take the youngster long to make his mark at the ground he will call home from this summer.

The 17-year-old, fresh from his winner against England on Saturday, was in the right place at the edge of the box when a corner was half-cleared. He met the ball with a powerful left-footed volley that thundered into the bottom corner with the aid of a deflection.

There were further chances at both ends with Olmo twice testing Bento either side of a Lucas Beraldo effort for Brazil that flew well over.

Dani Carvajal also forced a save before being awarded Spain’s second penalty of the night as he went down, under a Beraldo challenge five minutes from time.

Again Rodri was on target but Paqueta was to have the final word after Galeno was bundled over by Carvajal.

Conor Bradley was “absolutely buzzing” after his first Northern Ireland goal was enough for Michael O’Neill’s side to beat disappointing Scotland 1-0 in a friendly at Hampden Park.

A deflected shot from Bradley in the 32nd minute put Northern Ireland in front against the run of play, and despite having more than 80 per cent possession, Scotland could not find a way back as their winless run stretched to seven games to leave big questions over their Euro 2024 preparation.

For Bradley, it was yet another big moment in a breakthrough season as the Green and White Army enjoyed their first win at Hampden Park in 50 years and the 20-year-old became the first Liverpool player to score for Northern Ireland in 110 years.

“I’m absolutely buzzing,” Bradley told BBC Sport. “I don’t think I could even dream it would go the way it did. To get a 1-0 win, it’s fantastic, a great night all round.

“I was just hoping it would go in and I was buzzing when I’ve seen it go in the top corner. I don’t even know what happened after that.”

Bradley, already the first Liverpool player to turn out for Northern Ireland since Sammy Smith in 1954, became the first Red to score for the country since Billy Lacey in 1914.

“That’s crazy,” Bradley said. “I knew I was the first Northern Ireland player from Liverpool in about 70 years and that’s even madder, to be fair.”

The win, and Bradley’s goal, underlines the sense that this is a new Northern Ireland side building for the future.

They came into the game on the back of an encouraging 1-1 draw away to Romania on Friday, and have held their own against two sides heading to the Euros this summer.

“We’re delighted with the result,” O’Neill said.

“It was a really good performance, a strong performance. Defensively we were excellent. With the team as it is at this minute, the team is maturing, it’s a brilliant result for the lads.

“We’ve played two very good sides who are going to be in Germany in the summer and that gives us a target. We’re not going to be there but it builds confidence, it builds belief in the players and that was the purpose of taking these games.

“Scotland will have different games in the finals where they will not have so much of the ball and that will probably suit them a little bit as well.”

Scotland certainly have a lot to think about going into the summer after a humbling week, having lost 4-0 to Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday.

“It’s been a frustrating camp,” said Leeds defender Liam Cooper. “Ideally you’d like to go in to May and June on the back of a successful camp but it wasn’t meant to be. We have to get back to ourselves ASAP.

“We didn’t get too high when we got out of the camp and now is not the time to turn on each other and dig each other out. We’ve got to get back to ourselves and work hard to be the team we know we can be.

“Northern Ireland sat in tonight and we’ve got to be prepared to be patient and break them down. I think we got a bit edgy tonight and in the final third we could have been a bit more patient and wait for openings to be there.

“We forced it at times. Those are all things we can improve on and I’m sure the manager knows exactly what we’re doing come May in preparation for the Euros. We’ve got to get our heads down and work hard.”

France returned to winning ways after coming from behind and then holding on to beat Chile 3-2 in an entertaining friendly in Marseille.

Youssouf Fofana cancelled out Marcelino Nunez’s early opener for Chile and after Randal Kolo Muani had given France a half-time lead, Olivier Giroud put them 3-1 up before Dario Osorio’s late effort for the South Americans.

France head coach Didier Deschamps’ made nine changes after Saturday’s 2-0 loss to Germany in Lyon and was rewarded with a much-improved display at the Orange Velodrome.

France conceded after just seven seconds against Germany at the weekend and went behind to another early goal when Nunez buried a low angled shot after being picked out in the area by Mauricio Isla’s cut-back.

Les Bleus gradually grew into the game and equalised with their first shot on target in the 18th minute.

Kylian Mbappe teed up Fofana on the edge of the box and the Monaco midfielder’s curled effort took a slight deflection off Chile defender Igor Lichnovsky on its way into the net.

A second goal seven minutes later put France in control. Theo Hernandez crossed from the left and Paris St Germain striker Kolo Muani rose above two Chile defenders to head home his third goal in four international appearances.

Alexis Sanchez, who set a new record of 162 appearance for Chile, teed up Dario Osorio shortly before half-time, but the latter’s shot was just too high.

Mbappe blazed over for France soon after the restart and Giroud’s deflected header was easily held before an end-to-end spell of action.

Chile striker Eduardo Vargas’ fine header from Gabriel Suazo’s cross hit a post and France substitute Jules Kounde lashed a shot narrowly over.

France extended their lead in the 72nd minute as Kolo Muani wriggled free of Lichnovsky’s challenge and crossed low for Giroud to side-foot home his 57th goal for his country.

Osorio set up a grandstand finish by firing a brilliant low shot into the bottom corner from the edge of the area in the 82nd minute.

And Chile substitute Ben Brereton Diaz was denied by William Saliba’s last-ditch tackle as the Sheffield United striker bore down on goal in an exciting finish.

Niclas Fullkrug snatched a scrappy winner as Germany defeated the Netherlands 2-1 to complete a promising international break for Julian Nagelsmann’s side.

Having seen off France 2-0 on Saturday, the Euro 2024 hosts added another notch on their belt in Frankfurt.

They had to come from behind to take out Ronald Koeman’s men, who took a fourth-minute lead through Joey Veerman. Maximilian Mittelstadt responded with a sweetly-struck effort from a corner routine and both teams had chances to take the lead before Germany snatched the win five minutes from time.

It was far from a clean finish, substitute Fullkrug steering the ball towards the far post and marginally over the line as Bart Verbruggen scrambled to make a save rendered moot by VAR.

The visitors grabbed the lead with their first meaningful break into opposition territory, Memphis Depay spotting the chance to open the door.

He spotted Veerman’s run and picked his pass, with the PSV Eindhoven collecting the ball and slotting home carefully for his first international goal.

The early setback could have knocked the home side off course but instead they got themselves back on level terms in quick time. Mittelstadt, fresh from an encouraging debut against Les Bleus, showed no trace of reticence as he collected a short corner from Toni Kroos and bent an ambitious strike handsomely into the top corner.

Having restored parity, Germany soon looked the sharper side but when Ilkay Gundogan and Robert Andrich took the chance to pull the trigger their efforts failed to worry Verbruggen.

Netherlands’ Wout Weghorst, left, celebrates with his team-mate Joey (Peter Dejong/AP)

The Dutch absorbed plenty of pressure before going close at the other end, Mathias de Ligt glancing Daley Blind’s ball across goal as Donyell Malen failed to apply the finishing touch.

Germany had controlled most of the first half but looked vulnerable again five minutes into the second, Malen this time getting a solid connection but still unable to beat Marc-Andre ter Stegen.

Koeman’s side continued to grow, winning a handy free-kick that Blind squandered and then working Tijani Reijinders into a good position which came to nothing as he cleared the crossbar.

The game was open enough for either side to make a decisive move but chances continued to come and go. With an hour gone Depay missed from close range after a smart recovery from Malen and Mittelstadt’s hopes of adding a second were ended by Verbruggen’s near-post stop.

As the substitutes began to flow, Chris Fuhrich stood out from the crowd with a dashing run through the visiting defence and a through-ball that just escaped Kai Havertz.

Jamal Musiala and Thomas Muller kept the Netherlands pinned back with efforts on goal and Verbruggen’s resistance was finally ended when they Germans won it in scrappy fashion.

With five minutes remaining Fullkrug rose to meet Kroos’ corner, bundling the cross goalwards from 10 yards and just squeezing the ball over the line despite the goalkeeper clawing it back on the dive.

Scotland’s winless run became a concern after it was extended to seven games with a dismal 1-0 friendly defeat by Northern Ireland at Hampden Park.

The Tartan Army were looking for a response following a 4-0 defeat by the Netherlands in Amsterdam on Friday night but were shocked when midfielder Conor Bradley fired in for the visitors after 32 minutes.

The home side picked up the pace after the break but could not break down Michael O’Neill’s determined side, who stood firm to register Northern Ireland’s first win in Mount Florida in almost 50 years.

Scotland have not been on a seven-game winless run since August 2004 to March 2005 and they take on Gibraltar and Finland in June friendlies before they face hosts Germany in the Euro 2024 opener at the Allianz Arena.

Somehow they need to regain their groove or there could be more pain to come.

The Scots had long since booked their place in this summer’s Euros with a terrific qualifying campaign but they were under a bit of pressure following the Dutch defeat.

Manager Steve Clarke made two changes with centre-back Liam Cooper in for Ryan Porteous and striker Lyndon Dykes in for Lawrence Shankland.

There was a youthful look about O’Neill’s side which showed three changes from the team that started in the 1-1 draw in Romania, with former St Johnstone midfielder Ali McCann, Dan Ballard and goalkeeper Bailey Peacock-Farrell returning at the expense of ex-Celtic stopper Conor Hazard, Jordan Thompson and Paddy Lane.

Scotland tried to build some early pressure after midfielder Ryan Christie curled an effort from the edge of the visitors’ area wide of the post, but Northern Ireland were not unduly bothered.

The game drifted along with Peacock-Farrell having next to nothing to do before it took an unexpected turn.

Scotland wing-back Nathan Patterson recovered well to rescue an original mistake when a pass deep inside his own box was intercepted by Bradley and the 20-year-old Liverpool defender turned inside before firing high past goalkeeper Angus Gunn, with the aid of a slight deflection off defender Jack Hendry for his first international goal.

Then Scotland captain Andrew Robertson went off with an injury to be replaced by midfielder Lewis Ferguson and the home side returned to a back four with Kieran Tierney moving to left-back.

Northern Ireland almost doubled their lead on a speedy counter, with Shea Charles guiding the ball just wide, as did Scotland midfielder Scott McTominay – moments later – at the other end.

Boos from the home fans accompanied the half-time whistle.

Scotland started the second half with increased tempo but there still remained a lack of incision and guile and while Jamie Reid fired wide to end a Northern Ireland attack, at least it was an effort on goal.

In the 63rd minute, John McGinn’s free-kick came off Liam Cooper’s shoulder and skipped past the visitors’ goal and the home fans drove their side forward with increasing gusto.

Tierney was finding space down the left but the Scots could not capitalise.

Che Adams and Kenny McLean replaced Dykes and Gilmour in the 68th minute before Shankland and Stuart Armstrong also came on for Christie and McGinn.

Shankland soon had a close-range shot blocked by Brodie Spencer and Peacock-Farrell tipped a Ferguson header over the crossbar for a corner, before Shankland sent a header over and then four added minutes ran out.

Scotland have regressed recently in terms of results but it is this performance that should primarily concern Clarke.

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