WORLD CUP : Germany, Portugal get big victories

London, May 28 :

Germany and Portugal cruised to easy wins while the Netherlands and France both won 1-0 in World Cup warmups on Saturday.

Germany routed Luxembourg 7-0, and Portugal downed Cape Verde Islands 4-1. The Netherlands beat visiting Cameroon in steady rain, while France defeated fellow World Cup qualifier Mexico.

In other games involving teams bound the June 9-July 9 tournament in Germany, Ivory Coast drew Switzerland 1-1, and Trinidad and Tobago lost 2-1 to Wales. Paraguay drew 1-1 at Denmark, and Serbia-Montenegro was held to the same score by Uruguay.

Spain played to a scoreless draw against Russia, extending the Spaniards’ unbeaten streak to 20 games. And Romania completed a three-game US tour with a 0-0 draw against Colombia in Chicago.

Miroslav Klose and Lukas Podolski each scored twice to lead World Cup host Germany before a home crowd in Freiburg. Torsten Frings made a first-half penalty before substitute Oliver Neuville scored another two in injury time.

Germany captain Michael Ballack, who injured his left ankle in practice two days ago, stayed at the team’s training base in Geneva, Switzerland. He was replaced by Tim Borowksi, one of 17 players used by coach Juergen Klinsmann.

Pedro Pauleta scored a hat-trick for the home team in Evora, Portugal. He opened the scoring in the first minute, sprinting through the defence to meet a long pass from Maniche and sidefoot the ball past the advancing goalkeeper.

After an own-goal made it 1-1, the striker scored with a 37th-minute glancing header from Luis Figo’s corner kick. Armando Petit scored in the 59th. With seven minutes left, Pauleta completed the scoring with a curling free kick.

Pauleta, Portugal’s all-time top scorer and highest scorer in the French league last season, took his international total to 46 goals. It was his second hat-trick for Portugal.

Ruud van Nistelrooy scored to give the Netherlands victory in Rotterdam. The Dutch dominated on a slippery field and went ahead in the 23rd minute after defender Joris Mathijsen spotted Andre Ooijer free in the centre.

A 40-yard pass gave him time to flick the ball toward Van Nistelrooy, who beat goalkeeper Idriss Kameni from close range.

Florent Malouda scored for France as Zinedine Zidane played his 100th game for France and last at Stade de France. He drew an ovation as he left the field, but his performance was unusually slack.

Mexico failed to threaten until captain Rafael Marquez’s 36th-minute header went just over the bar. With seconds remaining until halftime, Djibril Cisse crossed from the right and Malouda finished powerfully.

Zidane led the France on the field to chants of “Zizou, Zizou,” but boos rang out when coach Raymond Domenech’s name was announced.