07 June 2014 | News Comments

Friendly wins for Germany, Russia and Brazil

Germany cruised to a 6-1 win over Armenia in their final World Cup warm-up, although the game was overshadowed by an injury to Marco Reus which looks likely to prevent the Borussia Dortmund midfielder from boarding a plane to Brazil on Saturday.

The 25-year-old was carried off the field with tears in his eyes just before half-time and he was immediately taken to hospital for a scan on what appeared to be a serious ankle injury.

That set a sombre mood for the second half, although Andre Schurrle put Germany in front early on with further goals from Lukas Podolski, Benedikt Howedes and a record-breaking Miroslav Klose effort cancelling out Henrikh Mkhitaryan's equaliser from the penalty spot.

Mario Gotze added two more for Joachim Low's men, although Reus' injury rendered the result secondary with Germany set to lose a key player 10 days prior to their opening group fixture against Portugal.

Reus had demonstrated his importance to the Germany side during the first half in which he went closer than anybody to breaking the deadlock.

Twice he combined with Thomas Muller, the first time seeing his shot cleared off the line by a defender before Armenia goalkeeper Roman Berezovsky came out on top of their next one-on-one duel.

The hosts seemed to pitch their tents in the Armenia half with the visitors failing to show any of the counter-attacking threat that Low had predicted, although the Germany coach had greater concerns just before half-time.

Reus was caught in a challenge on his left ankle and the look on the face of Germany doctor Hans-Wilhelm Muller-Wohlfahrt, as well as a grimace which tried to mask Reus' tears, provided a clear enough preliminary diagnosis.

Podolski took his place, and just seven minutes into the second half, the Arsenal forward sent in a cross from the left which Chelsea's Schurrle flicked in with the inside of his heel at the near post.

Another backheel from Schurrle put substitute Mesut Ozil through, but he shot against the post before Kevin Grosskreutz made a rather overzealous introduction with a foul on Gevorg Ghazaryan giving away a penalty.

Mkhitaryan stepped up to beat his Dortmund team-mate Roman Weidenfeller to bring Armenia level.

The Arsenal connection of Ozil and Podolski combined as the latter beat Berezovsky, before Bastian Schweinsteiger lifted in a cross which Howedes bundled over the line with his thigh after his initial header was saved.

There was still time for Klose to become Germany's all-time top goalscorer with his 69th international goal - one more than Gerd Muller - with a close-range header from Podolski's cross.

Substitute Gotze wrapped up a comprehensive victory with two further goals, although Low's thoughts at the final whistle would have turned to who he may be forced to call up to replace Reus, whose place on the plane is far from certain.

Brazil completed their World Cup warm-ups with a 1-0 win friendly over Serbia.

Fred netted the only goal at the Estadio Morumbi in Sao Paulo in Brazil's final test before they open the tournament against Croatia on Thursday.

That match will be played in the same city, but at a different venue - the Arena Corinthians.

Despite being so close to the beginning of the official competition, Brazil coach Luiz Felipe Scolari fielded most of his usual starters, including Neymar, Daniel Alves and Thiago Silva and may therefore be concerned at the nature of the performance.

The Selecao were unable to break the tough Serbian defensive line until the 58th minute.

Silva passed the ball to Fred, who chested it down, avoided the mark of a defender and managed to finish the play despite falling to the ground.

As Brazil made a number of substitutions, they failed to hurt Serbia again.

Goals from Vasili Berezutskiy and Yuri Zhirkov handed Russia victory in their final match before they head to Brazil as they dismissed Morocco 2-0 in front of their home fans.           

The evening did not start well for Fabio Capello's side, as Denis Glushakov was injured in the warm-up after pulling a muscle and was replaced in the starting line-up by Igor Denisov.             

Fellow midfielder Roman Shirokov was unable to start and it was later confirmed that he will miss the chance to feature on the global stage.            

The home side started at a good tempo and looked to use the flanks as much as possible, yet despite dominating possession they were unable to create any significant opportunities.             

The visitors hit the post in the 24th minute when Omar El Kaddouri was left completely unmarked in the penalty area, but his shot cannoned off the woodwork, with goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev beaten.             

That momentary lapse sprang the Russians into life and in the 29th minute Berezutskiy gave them the lead. The CSKA Moscow central defender capitalised on a fortunate ricochet before slamming the ball into the back of the net from close range.           

Russia had an opportunity to double their lead just before half-time when Alexander Kokorin managed to beat the off-side trap, but dragged his shot wide with only the keeper to beat.             

Capello made four changes at the break, but that did not seem to upset Russia's rhythm, with Kokorin squandering two further chances shortly after the restart.             

Zhirkov made it 2-0 in the 58th minute when the ball fell to him following a poor clearance and the former Chelsea defender netted his first international goal with a fine finish.             

Morocco had a couple of chances late on, but were unable to find a way back into the game, leaving Russia to head to Brazil on the back of two wins and a draw from their three warm-up matches.  

Russia fly out on Saturday and play their first game of the World Cup on 17 June against South Korea in Cuiaba.