All three of Italy’s Euro 2008 Group C rivals stepped up their preparations for the summer tournament with friendlies tonight.
With just four months to go, 15 of the 16 contenders were in action including France, the Netherlands and Romania.
The Dutch, who face Italy in the opening group game on June 9, issued a warning to their rivals with an impressive 3-0 victory in Split beating fellow finalists Croatia.
First-half strikes from Johnny Heitinga and Klaas Jan Huntelaar and a Jan Vennegoor of Hesselink goal a minute from time underlined the capabilities of Marco van Basten’s side.
Spain snatched a late victory as World Cup finalists France were beaten by Joan Capdevila's strike ten minutes from time in Malaga.
Italy will play Raymond Domenech’s French side in the final group game in Austria and Switzerland on June 17.
Romania's preparations also suffered a setback in Tel-Aviv as Omer Golan's first-half goal gave Israel victory against opponents who played most of the match with ten men.
Victor Piturca's side, who play the Azzurri on June 13, had midfielder Ovidiu Petre sent off after just 22 minutes.
The next series of friendlies are scheduled for March 26 when Italy travel to Elche to face Spain, France host England in Paris, Romania welcome Russia to Bucharest and the Netherlands go to Vienna to play Euro 2008 co-hosts Austria.
Euro 2008 contenders are indicated in capitals.
TURKEY 0-0 SWEDEN
Israel 1-0 ROMANIA
GREECE 2-1 Finland
CROATIA 0-3 NETHERLANDS
CZECH REPUBLIC 0-2 POLAND
AUSTRIA 0-3 GERMANY
ITALY 3-1 PORTUGAL
England 2-1 SWITZERLAND
SPAIN 1-0 FRANCE
RUSSIA were not in action.
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