Cesc Fabregas back for Spain, Italy lose

Milan: Cesc Fabregas returned to action after two months out injured and played for an hour in Spain`s 1-0 World Cup warm-up win over South Korea.

World Cup holders Italy did not fare as well, losing 2-1 to Mexico, and Germany midfielder Bastian Schweinsteiger converted two penalties to give his side a 3-1 win over Bosnia in their last warm-up before the tournament in South Africa.

Arsenal midfielder Fabregas had a good chance to open the scoring for Spain when he hit the crossbar after 35 minutes but Jesus Navas`s stunning late goal secured victory for the European champions who fielded mainly second-choice players.

"The first half was better than the second for me. This has all been a bit like a pre-season for me, but I am feeling good," Fabregas told Spanish state television.

Striker Fernando Torres, recovering from knee surgery, remained the only Spanish player not to have featured in the warm-up matches.

Italy went down to goals from Mexico`s Carlos Vela and Cuauhtemoc Blanco before substitute Leonardo Bonucci pulled one back in a goalmouth scramble three minutes from time.

"I don`t think we could have met a worse team today," said Italy coach Marcello Lippi, explaining that his side had just completed 10 days altitude conditioning and were not fully match fit.

"There are no alarm bells... We need to get fit gradually and peak at the right time. It`s true I expected to see us better prepared physically," he told a news conference.

Mexico face South Africa in the opening match of the World Cup on June 11.

Bureau Report

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