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. Last Updated: 07/27/2016

Russia Shuts Out Austria

KLAGENFURT, Austria -- In its first friendly soccer match since a disappointing World Cup appearance, Russia defeated Austria 3-0 at the Woerthersee stadium in Klagenfurt in a warm-up for the qualifying round for the European Championships.


Vladimir Beschastnykh scored the first goal in the 42nd minute giving the Russians a 1-0 lead at halftime in Wednesday night's match.


Yury Nikiforov scored in the 52nd with a header that bounced off the cross bar and into the net, winning applause from the home crowd of 10,000.


The Russians took their third goal with an 11-meter shot by Igor Simutenkov in the 82nd. The match was refereed by Vassilios Nikakis of Greece.


Sweden 4, Lithuania 2. Sweden, who took third place in the World Cup last month, beat Lithuania 4-2 Wednesday in a friendly warm-up game for European championship qualification.


Sweden began strongly and took a 3-0 lead in 38 minutes. World Cup hero Tomas Brolin scored twice, once from the penalty spot, and Patrick Andersson added the third.


But Lithuania hit back after the interval and scored twice in a three-minute burst early in the second half.


Then, after Rolandas Vaineikis and Aurelijus Skarbalius had narrowed the gap, Henrik Larsson netted a fourth for Sweden in the 73rd minute.


"Lithuania really played well and their two goals early in the second half surprised us. It was a very good practice game for us," Sweden's manager Tommy Svensson said.


France 2, Czech Republic 2. In Bordeaux, substitute Zinedine Zidane, 22, scored two goals in two minutes on his debut to save France's blushes and earn it a draw with the Czech Republic.


The Czechs, playing livelier football and showing plenty of ideas, had moved ahead with two goals from Tomas Skuhravy and Daniel Smejkal just before halftime.


Zidane, coming on to a big cheer from his home fans in the 64th minute, rescued a lackluster French side.


He finished off a midfield run with a powerful left-foot shot in the 80th minute and rose masterfully on the edge of the box two minutes later to head in a Jocelyn Angloma corner.


His goals saved the French from their first defeat under trainer Aime Jacquet, who had registered four successive wins since taking over from Gerard Houllier after France's shock exit from the World Cup qualifier last year following home defeats to Israel and Bulgaria.


France was warming up for its first European championship qualifier in Slovakia next month.


Denmark 2, Finland 1. In Copenhagen, newcomer Morten Wieghorst scored the winning goal in the 74th minute Wednesday to give Denmark a lackluster come-from-behind 2-1 victory over Finland.


The goal capped a mostly disappointing match for the defending European Champion, which was booed for much of the game by the 7,692 home fans.


Kim Suominen gave Finland the lead in the first half, and Brian Laudrup equalized midway through the second period.


Following a defense error, Suominen stood virtually alone before goalie Peter Schmeichel and scored in the 41st minute.


A foul by Janne Makela on Laudrup gave Denmark a free kick just outside the penalty area in the 65th minute. The Danish striker looped the ball smoothly over the Finnish wall and past goalkeeper Petri Jakonen.


Wieghorst, who plays for Dundee FC, then won the game when he headed a long ball into the Finnish net out of the reach of the diving Jakonen.


Despite winning the European title in 1992, Denmark failed to qualify for this year's World Cup after draws with underdogs Latvia and Lithuania.


On Sept. 7, Denmark will play another underdog, Macedonia, in its first qualifier for the 1996 European Championships. (AP, Reuters)