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Football stars shine in international friendly games

In the big games, Portugal beat Argentina, England beat Scotland and Germany beat Spain.

England captain Wayne Rooney. Picture: Official England Football Team Facebook page.

MANCHESTER/GLASGOW/VIGO - 'Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi' got top billing at a packed Old Trafford, but it was a lesser light who scored as Portugal scraped a 1-0 friendly win over Argentina on Tuesday.

Raphael Guerreiro headed the winner in added time after a second half riddled with substitutions and missing the excitement factor provided by the game's two biggest players who did not reappear after halftime.

With Messi and Ronaldo on the field, Argentina showed what coach Gerardo Martino is looking for from his team, a quick-passing possession game with fast thrusts forward.

They dominated the opening half-hour in which they could have scored at least twice, the first chance a shot from Angel Di Maria that skimmed the outside of the post after he was set up by Messi.

Argentina's closest effort was in the 11th minute when Messi beat the offside trap to reach a through ball on the right and came in at a tight angle, his low shot from the edge of the six-yard box beating Beto but glancing off the post and back into play.

As the half-hour approached, Messi crossed, Javier Pastore headed and Beto dived to save before Ronaldo raised the decibels in the stadium when he backheeled a neat pass to Bosingwa then raced into the box to take the right back's cross but his shot after two dummies went over the bar.

The game failed to pick up its first half rhythm and quality, despite an end-to-end flow, thanks to the high number of substitutions as every player in the two squads appeared to be getting a chance to play.

Portugal looked like they wanted it more towards the end and a lucky bounce set up Ricardo Quaresma to cross from the right and give substitute Raphael Guerreiro a free header for the only The billing at goal.

ROONEY NETS DOUBLE

England captain Wayne Rooney scored twice after Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain headed the opener in a 3-1 win over Scotland as the visitors dominated a typically passionate Auld Enemy friendly at Celtic Park on Tuesday.

Rooney took his tally to 46 in his 101st international to move within three goals of Bobby Charlton's England scoring record of 49 and led by example as skipper with his composed side proving too strong for the hosts.

Oxlade-Chamberlain opened the scoring when he glanced the ball home with his head after a superb pass from his Arsenal team mate Jack Wilshere to score after 32 minutes, reward for England taking control after a frenetic opening to the game.

Rooney headed England 2-0 in front in the 47th minute after Scotland failed to clear a free-kick.

Scotland came back when Andrew Robertson planted a left-foot shot past former Celtic keeper Fraser Forster to make it 2-1.

But two minutes later Rooney finished off a well-worked move involving substitutes Adam Lallana and Rickie Lambert by turning the ball into the net from close range before leaping into an acrobatic celebration.

KROOS MISSILE

Toni Kroos struck with a fierce long-range shot a minute from time to give Germany a 1-0 victory over Spain in a friendly between two injury-depleted European heavyweights in Vigo on Tuesday.

Kroos's effort settled a match played in lashing rain that was short on chances although goalkeeper Kiko Casilla, who came off the bench to make his Spain debut, will be furious he let the ball past him after getting into position to palm it away.

Germany forward Mario Goetze, who scored the winner against Argentina in July's World Cup final, had gone closest on a foul night in Galicia but Iker Casillas brilliantly saved his 20th-minute effort.

Del Bosque started with debutant Nolito, who plays for local side Celta Vigo, and Alvaro Morata up front, with playmaker Isco in the creative role just behind.

Joachim Loew deployed Thomas Mueller, Goetze and Kevin Volland in his forward line, while Sami Khedira and Kroos, who both play for Real Madrid, featured in midfield.

Nolito tested Germany keeper Ron-Robert Zieler in the 12th minute and, after Casillas had denied Goetze, Isco fired high and wide when well placed on the edge of the area.

Del Bosque made a host of changes in the second half and Nolito went close with a 59th-minute free kick before Kroos secured Germany's first win against Spain since they won 4-1 in a friendly in Hanover in August 2000.