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November 20, 2009

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Spain blasts 5 past Austria, Ivory Coast holds Germany

SPAIN marked its return to the Vienna stadium where it won Euro 2008 by thrashing 10-man Austria 5-1 while Germany was held to a 2-2 draw by Ivory Coast in friendlies on Wednesday.

David Villa netted twice for the European champions at the Ernst Happel stadium, scene of Spain's 1-0 final victory over Germany last year, to take his international goal tally to 35 in 54 appearances.

An injury-time goal from Lukas Podolski saved Germany in Gelsenkirchen and Giorgio Chiellini headed home as an experimental Italy side beat Sweden 1-0 in Cesena.

Austria, which failed to qualify for the World Cup, took a surprise lead through Jakob Jantscher on eight minutes but Cesc Fabregas levelled for Spain two minutes later.

Yasin Pehlivan was dismissed for a late challenge on Sergio Busquets in the 26th minute and Villa struck twice before the break.

Spain substitutes Dani Guiza and Pablo Hernandez then completed the rout early in the second half.

"I am happy to come here again and remember the great feelings we had two summers back," Villa said. "I think we wrapped up the game with a convincing victory and some good play."

Germany took an 11th-minute lead when Guy Demel brought down Stefan Kiessling and Podolski netted from the penalty spot.

Ivory Coast levelled when substitute goalkeeper Manuel Neuer attempted to clear a back pass and the ball bounced off Emmanuel Eboue and dribbled into the net.

Seydou Doumbia put the visitors in front with a blistering 85th-minute drive before Podolski struck again three minutes into stoppage time.

Coach Joachim Loew said it was not easy for Germany to play after last week's suicide of national goalkeeper Robert Enke.

"But the team was focused and you saw they got into the match and wanted to win," he said.

Chiellini charged in to score the winner for world champion Italy in the 28th minute in Cesena after Giampaolo Pazzini nodded on a corner from the right.

Denmark came from behind to beat United States 3-1.


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