PARIS: Germany and the Netherlands, two of the sides widely-tipped as potential Euro 2012 winners, suffered worrying friendly international defeats on Saturday. Germany slumped to a shock 5-3 defeat in Switzerland while the Dutch were booed off in Amsterdam after surrendering a one-goal lead to lose 2-1 against Bulgaria.
Defending European and world champions Spain, however, showed off their impressive strength in depth when a second-string side defeated Serbia 2-0.
England, meanwhile, gave Roy Hodgson a winning start as new national coach with a hard-fought 1-0 win over Norway in Oslo. Germany, who rested their eight-strong Bayern Munich contingent, suffered their first loss to Switzerland, who failed to qualify for Euro 2012 for the first time since 1956.
Joachim Löw’s Germany qualified for Euro 2012 without losing a match, but they have now lost two friendlies in succession having been defeated 2-1 by France in February.
Roy Hodgson made a winning start to his reign as England manager after an Ashley Young goal in the ninth minute gave his side a 1-0 victory over Norway in Oslo.
Hodgson, who only took over as the successor to Fabio Capello earlier this month, saw his experimental England side record their first win over Norway for 32 years.
Ireland saw off Bosnia 1-0 in Dublin while Portugal were held 0-0 in Leiria by Macedonia.
Denmark lost 3-1 to a young Brazil side, who are preparing for the London Olympics. Elsewhere Saturday, there were wins for tournament co-hosts Poland who beat Slovakia 1-0.
Croatia beat Estonia 3-1, the Czech Republic edged Israel 2-1 while 2004 champions Greece were held 1-1 by Slovenia.