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England beats Belgium in final friendly ahead of Euro 2012; Poland, Dutch also win tuneups

06/02/2012 04:12 EDT | Updated 08/02/2012 05:12 EDT
LONDON - England earned its second straight victory under Roy Hodgson on Saturday, while European Championship co-host Poland and the Netherlands had big wins in their final tuneups.

Danny Welbeck scored his first international goal in the 36th minute to give England a 1-0 victory over a talented Belgium team at Wembley and ensure that it enters Euro 2012 with a perfect record under Hodgson. England beat Norway by the same score last weekend.

Poland swept aside lowly Andorra 4-0 in Warsaw after three first-half goals in its last pre-Euro friendly, while the Netherlands routed Northern Irleand 6-0.

Denmark beat Australia 2-0 at home, but Croatia had to settle for a 1-1 draw at Norway after Tarik Elyounoussi equalized in injury time for the hosts. Striker Eduardo da Silva had given Croatia the lead in the 79th.

England's victory may prove costly as both starting central defenders were taken off with injury concerns. Gary Cahill was pushed into goalkeeper Joe Hart in the second half and was taken for an X-ray on his jaw, while Chelsea teammate John Terry came off in the second half because of a hamstring problem.

"Cahill is slightly more of a concern because it's a jaw injury," Hodgson said. "I am hoping the scan doesn't show a fracture and it will be a bruise. That's wouldn't rule him out of the tournament."

England again failed to impress against Belgium, but Welbeck converted the team's first good scoring chance and a solid defensive effort prevented the visitors from converting their edge in possession into dangerous opportunities.

After Belgium turned the ball over in midfield, Ashley Young set up his Manchester United teammate Welbeck with a perfect ball into the area and the striker calmly chipped goalkeeper Simon Mignolet to give England the lead.

Belgium's Eden Hazard largely failed to show why Chelsea is reportedly about to pay more than 30 million pounds for the Lille playmaker, while Marouane Fellaini and Romelu Lukaku both threatened in the second half but couldn't seriously test Hart in the England goal.

In Warsaw, Poland led 3-0 by halftime after Ludovic Obraniak scored in the 13th before striker Robert Lewandowski and midfielder Jakub Blaszczykowski both netted in a two-minute span just before the break. Marcin Wasilewski made it 4-0 in the 77th.

Poland will open Euro 2012 against Greece in Group A, which also includes the Czech Republic and Russia.

The Dutch were back to their high-scoring habits, as Robin van Persie and Ibrahim Afellay scored two goals each and Wesley Sneijder curled in a free kick as the hosts cut through the Irish defence almost at will.

The Netherlands had a 4-0 lead at halftime and Afellay made it 5-0 shortly after the break before a string of substitutions broke the Dutch rhythm.

Defender Ron Vlaar headed home a corner in the 78th minute to complete the rout.

In Copenhagen, Daniel Agger converted a penalty for Denmark in the 31st and Andreas Bjelland scored the second from a corner in the 66th.

The Danes dominated the first half but slowed down after taking the two-goal lead. However, Australia failed to convert several chances.

"They were tired. They have had a tough week because they have been training all week long," said Denmark coach Morten Olsen. "It is important for us that we have a win at this moment."

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