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International Round-Up

Rafael van der Vaart captained Holland to a thrilling 5-3 victory over Hungary in Euro 2012 qualifying at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday.

Rafael van der Vaart captained Holland to a thrilling 5-3 victory over Hungary in Euro 2012 qualifying at the Amsterdam Arena on Tuesday.

The result leaves Bert van Marwijk’s side nine points clear at the top of Group E after back-to-back wins over the East Europeans during this international break.

Rafa and co followed up last Friday’s 4-0 success in Budapest with a more hard-fought victory that at one stage saw them fall 2-1 behind to the visitors.

But it was Rafa who linked up with Wesley Sneijder for the Inter man to equalise before Oranje eventually battled their way to victory.

Our flying Dutchman said: "It was a spectacular game. Football is supposed to be entertainment, and this game was certainly that, although the coach will not be satisfied."

Rafa was our only international player to be involved in competitive action last night, with others involved in friendlies.

Roman Pavlyuchenko got on the scoresheet for Russia, who had to come from behind to claim a 1-1 draw against Qatar in Doha. The striker tapped home on 33 minutes after good work by Andrei Arshavin.

Giovani Dos Santos was also unlucky not to get on the scoresheet for Mexico in their 1-1 draw with Venezuela in San Diego. He set up the opener for Aldo De Negris before himself hitting a post 10 minutes later.

All four of our Croatians – Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric and Stipe Pletikosa – played their part in a 0-0 draw with France in Paris. Stipe came on as a second half replacement for injured goalkeeper Vedran Runje and did well to foil Loic Remy late on, while Luka sent Ivan Rakitic clean through in the second half but to no avail.

And Jermain Defoe was our only player involved in England’s 1-1 draw with Ghana at Wembley, replacing goalscorer Andy Carroll in the second half. Michael Dawson was released from Fabio Capello’s squad after Saturday’s Euro 2012 qualifying victory over Wales, while Aaron Lennon and Kyle Walker pulled out of the squad through injury. Peter Crouch was an unused substitute.

Finally, youngsters Tom Carroll and Ryan Fredericks won their first international honours, representing England U19 in a 3-0 defeat against their Dutch counterparts in Putten. Tom and fellow Leyton Orient loanee Harry Kane started the game and played 72 minutes, while winger Ryan played the second half.