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INTERNATIONAL ROUND-UP

Posted on 6 October 2006  - 12:00

Didier Zokora and Paul Stalteri completed a busy weekend of international action for our players with mixed fortunes on Sunday.

Didier Zokora and Paul Stalteri completed a busy weekend of international action for our players with mixed fortunes on Sunday.

Midfielder Didier's Ivory Coast hammered Gabon in African Nations Cup qualifying while Paul played the full 90 minutes as Canada went from 1-0 up to lose 2-1 to Jamaica in a friendly.

Saturday round-up

It wasn't the best of Saturdays for our international players although Dimitar Berbatov played 90 minutes in Bulgaria's draw against Holland.

The striker only returned to Spurs action in the win against Portsmouth last weekend following a month out with a groin problem. Bulgaria remain unbeaten in Group G and now travel to Luxembourg on Wednesday.

It was an afternoon to forget for Republic of Ireland skipper Robbie Keane. The understrength Irish side were humbled 5-2 in Cyprus having been level 2-2 at the interval. Robbie hit the post in the first half and played the full 90 minutes. They have to pick up the pieces against the all-conquering Czech Republic - table-toppers with three wins in the three in Group D - at home on Wednesday.

Goalkeeper Marton Fulop was on the bench as Hungary lost 1-0 at home to Turkey in Group C and is likely to remain there away to Malta on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, at Old Trafford, Ledley King earned his first cap since March, starting in place of the injured Rio Ferdinand in England's disappointing 0-0 draw against Macedonia. That meant Paul Robinson kept his ninth clean sheet in 10 games. Jermain Defoe came off the bench for Wayne Rooney in the 74th minute, Jermaine Jenas was an unused substitute.

All four now travel to Croatia for a tough-looking Group E fixture on Wednesday.

Away from European qualifying, Mido and Hossam Ghaly's Egypt were held to a surprise goalless draw by Botswana in Afrian Nations Cup qualifying on Saturday.

Joy for Tom

Tom Huddlestone played his part as England U21s secured a first leg advantage in the European Championship play-off against Germany on Friday night.

The midfielder picked up a loose clearance and squared for Leighton Baines to smash home a spectacular 30-yarder into the top corner for the only goal of the game in the 77th minute at Coventry's Ricoh Arena.

Tom played the full 90 minutes while Wayne Routledge, currently on loan at Fulham, played 71 minutes and struck the woodwork in the second half.

England take that 1-0 lead into the second leg at Bayer Leverkusen's BayerArena on Tuesday - the winners go through to next summer's UEFA European U21 Finals.

Call-ups for Academy

Academy players Tomas Pekhart, David Button and Dorian Dervite have been called into the Czech, England and French squads respectively while Andros Townsend is in the Engand U16 squad for the Victory Shield clash against Wales next Friday, October 20.