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International round-up

Posted on 7 September 2009  - 12:00

Four of our players hit the target as 14 took to the field on international duty from Friday afternoon to Saturday night.

International round-up

Four of our players hit the target as 14 took to the field on international duty from Friday afternoon to Saturday night.

Jermain Defoe, Robbie Keane, Roman Pavlyuchenko and Giovani dos Santos grabbed goals for England, Republic of Ireland, Russia and Mexico respectively.

JD's fine strike in the friendly win against Slovenia has seen further calls for England coach Fabio Capello to start him in the World Cup qualifier against Croatia on Wednesday.

Robbie Keane hit his 40th goal for the Republic in a 2-1 win in Cyprus to maintain their good position just behind Italy and ahead of Bulgaria in Group Eight.

Roman scored twice from the penalty spot just before half-time as Russia beat Liechtenstein 3-0 in Group Four on Saturday.

Gio was the star of the show with a goal and two assists as Mexico beat previous leaders Costa Rica 3-0 in San Jose in North, Central American and Caribbean qualifying. Meanwhile, Wilson Palacios was suspended as Honduras beat Trinidad & Tobago 4-1.



Alan Hutton played 90 minutes as Scotland maintained slim hopes of taking one of the play-off places in European qualifying with a 2-0 win against Macedonia.

It was good and very bad news for Vedran Corluka and Niko Kranjcar as Croatia beat Belarus 1-0 in Zagreb. The good news was that it was a must-win game as the Croats fight it out with Ukraine for runners-up spot in Group Six, the bad news was that Vedran was sent off after receiving two yellow cards and is therefore suspended for the big one against England at Wembley on Wednesday.

In African qualifying, Sebastien Bassong was taken off as a precaution in Cameroon's vital win against Gabon in Libreville. He's in line to return when the teams meet again on Wednesday. Benoit Assou-Ekotto also played 90 minutes for the Indomitable Lions.


Kyle Naughton and Danny Rose are in the England Under-21 squad aiming for a quickfire winning double in European Championship qualifying. Both played as the Three Lions toppled Macedonia on Friday and England now take on Greece in Arcadia in Group Nine.

Meanwhile, Dorian Dervite is with the France squad for their Group Eight fixture at home to Ukraine. The defender played 90 minutes as France beat Slovenia 3-1 on Friday.



All eyes will be on Wembley on Wednesday night as Jermain Defoe, Aaron Lennon and Peter Crouch look to play a part in the match against Croatia that could clinch England's qualification for South Africa.

Their new team-mate Niko Kranjcar is the only one of three of our Croatians in line to try and ruin England's plans as Vedran Corluka is suspended and Luka Modric injured.

England have seven wins out of seven so far - victory and their place will be booked in South Africa.

Having beaten Macedonia, Alan Hutton and Scotland now have the small task of beating runaway leaders Holland - seven wins in seven - to have a chance of finishing second in Group Nine and therefore be one of the best eight of nine group runners-up to go into the play-offs.

Roman Pavlyuchenko is back in the UK as Russia face Wales in Cardiff.

Russia are battling it out with Germany in Group Four - there is just one point between them - and it's all boiling up nicely to when they meet each other in Moscow on October 10.


Giovani dos Santos and Wilson Palacios are set to meet on one of the most important World Cup qualifiers this week on Wednesday night.

Only one point separates the top four in North, Central America and Caribbean qualifying with Wilson's Honduras vying with USA, Gio's Mexico and Costa Rico for the top three spots straight through to South Africa.

In Africa, Sebastian Bassong and Benoit Assou-Ekotto aim for a second win against Gabon in the space of four days to give the Indomitable Lions a chanceof making it through to the finals.