Serbia cruises, South Africa held

Algeria's preparations for the World Cup suffered a setback after it was thrashed 3-0 in a home friendly against fellow finalist Serbia.

The Desert Hawks, who are in the same group as England, United States and Slovenia for this tournament in South Africa, struggled for large parts of the game against their European opponents.

it fell behind after 14 minutes thanks to a Marko Pantelic strike and never recovered.

Zdravko Kuzmanovic (55) doubled the advantage in Algiers, before a sweeping counter-attack led to a third for Dusko Tosic (65) as Rabah Saadane's men slumped to defeat.

In Durban, World Cup host South Africa did little to convince its doubters that it can progress to the second round of the tournament with a meek draw against minnow Namibia.

Rudolf Bester gave Namibia a shock 42nd-minute lead in the game which was arranged to mark the 100-day countdown to the global spectacle that is scheduled to get under way on 11 June.

Carlos Alberto Parreira's men, who are in the same group as France, Mexico and Uruguay for the World Cup, finally managed an equaliser through Katlego Mphela after 70 minutes to give the home crowd something to cheer about.

Elsewhere, Ricardo Job's late strike helped Angola salvage a 1-1 draw against Latvia in Luanda.

Angola, playing its first game since the resignation of coach Manuel Jose, fell behind to a Girts Karlsons goal on the stroke of half-time.

But it rallied in the second half and was rewarded 14 minutes from time when the Petro Atletico midfielder helped secure a deserved draw.

Another of the World Cup-bound countries, Nigeria, was also in action and delivered an impressive result under the watchful eye of new coach Lars Lagerback when it thumped DR Congo 5-2 in Abuja.

The Swede was not in charge for the game, but witnessed an encouraging display from the Super Eagles, who were made up of largely home-based players.

Osas Idehem notched a brace and further goals from Peter Utaka, Chinedum Ezimora and Obinna Nsofor helped complete the rout.

The visitors had Mbenza Bedi to thank for his two goals, but they proved only a consolation as the west Africans, who are pooled with Argentina, Greece and Korea Republic for the World Cup, eased to victory.

In other results, three Africa Cup of Nations finalists Mozambique, Malawi and Mali were all surprisingly beaten.

In Maputo, host Mozambique slipped to a 1-0 loss to fellow southern African, Botswana, Zimbabwe edged out Malawi 2-1 in Harare and Mali suffered the same scoreline against Libya in Tripoli.

Bolton striker Johan Elmander earned Sweden a 1-0 win in a low-key clash against Wales in Swansea, while Ervin Skela's superb free-kick saw Albania beat Northern Ireland, for whom defender Stephen Craigan twice hit the woodwork, by the same scoreline.

Source PRESS ASSOCIATION