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International Round-Up

It was a mixed weekend for our lads on international duty over the weekend...

It was a mixed weekend for our lads on international duty over the weekend.

Things started well on Friday night when Rafael van der Vaart gave Holland the lead in their 4-0 Euro 2012 qualifying win over Hungary in Budapest.

Rafa latched onto a through-ball from Wesley Sneijder to slot home after just eight minutes, with Ibrahim Affelay, Dirk Kuyt and Robin van Persie adding further strikes.

On Saturday, Michael Dawson played 90 minutes as England defeated Wales 2-0 in Cardiff, while Jermain Defoe was an unused sub for the Three Lions.

But there was a huge disappointment for our Croatian lads, who suffered a 1-0 defeat in Georgia. Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar and Luka Modric all played, while Stipe Pletikosa was an unused sub – as was Roman Pavlyuchenko in Russia's 0-0 draw in Armenia.

There was an important win for the Republic of Ireland, however, with Robbie Keane on the scoresheet in their 2-1 victory over Macedonia in Dublin – his 46th international strike coming after the visiting goalkeeper spilled a Darron Gibson free-kick into his path.

Into the African Cup of Nations qualifiers, and Steven Pienaar recovered from a groin injury in time to play his part in South Africa’s massive 1-0 victory over holders Egypt to keep them top of Group G.

But it was a different story for Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong, with Cameroon suffering a 1-0 defeat in Senegal that leaves them struggling in Group E.

In the friendlies, Giovani Dos Santos featured in Mexico’s 3-1 win over Paraguay, while Sandro was a late substitute for Brazil in their 2-0 win over Scotland at the Emirates. Alan Hutton played 90 minutes for Craig Levein’s side.