How did Ireland's Euro 2016 opponents do in the international break?

Belgium, Italy and Sweden played a combined five games over the last week

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Belgium's Axel Witsel, runs with the ball during a friendly between Portugal and Belgium. (AP Photo/Steven Governo)

Ireland's 2-2 draw with Slovakia on Tuesday night ended the international break as Martin O'Neill will have been impressed by the performances over the two games.

With the 23-man squad due to be named for Euro 2016 on May 31st, the Irish manager has one more opportunity to see his players in international action ahead of the tournament with a friendly against the Netherlands on May 27th.

Although Ireland earned a win and a draw from their two games, who did their Group E opponents in Euro 2016 fare? Italy and Sweden played twice, while the Belgians only had one friendly during the international break.


Marc Wilmots' side were originally scheduled to face Portugal in Brussels on Tuesday night, but the game was cancelled last week due to security concerns after the Brussels terrorist attacks. The game was eventually moved to Portugal after negotiations between the Belgian and Portuguese Football Federations and played on the originally scheduled date.

Portugal won the game 2-1 after two first half strikes from Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo. Romelu Lukaku pulled one back to the Red Devils on the hour mark. It was Belgium's first loss in six games, after losing to Wales last summer.

They continue their Euro 2016 preparations against  Switzerland on May 28th.


Such is Italy's standing in international football, they were able to call upon the reigning European Champions and World Champions for two friendlies over the international break.

On Thursday evening, Antonio Conte's side drew 1-1 with Spain. Lorenzo Insigne gave the home side the lead before Athletic Bilbao's Aritz Aduriz equalised for Spain scoring his first international goal.

Italy's Stephan El Shaarawy, scores during a friendly between Germany and Italy. (AP Photo/Michael Probst)

In their second game, Italy suffered their heaviest defeat in almost three years after a 4-1 defeat to Germany. At one point the Italians were losing 4-0 with Toni Kroos, Mario Gotze, Jonas Hector and Mesut Ozil. Stephen El Shaarawy spared some embarrassment with a consolation goal in the final ten minutes.

Conte's side play Scotland in their next match on May 29th.


Like Belgium and Italy, Sweden failed to win a game during the international break. Their two games resulted in an away loss and a home draw.

On Thursday, they lost 2-1 to Turkey in Antalya. Cenk Tosun scored Turkey's two goals either side of a goal from Andreas Granqvist.

The Swedes drew 1-1 with the Czech Republic on Tuesday. Marcus Berg gave Sweden an early lead but the goal was cancelled out by Matej Vydrea before the break.

Sweden's Euro 2016 preparations continue against Slovenia on May 30th.