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International round-up

Rafael van der Vaart was our only player to taste victory in Euro 2012 qualifiers on Friday night.

Rafael van der Vaart was our only player to taste victory in Euro 2012 qualifiers on Friday night.

And the playmaker set-up the only goal of the game as Holland completed an expected 1-0 win in Moldova to make it three wins in three in Group E.

Rafa threaded through a fine pass to Klass-Jan Huntelaar in the 37th minute and the striker made no mistake to make it six goals in those three games.

Otherwise, it was a pretty miserable night for Gareth Bale, Robbie Keane and Alan Hutton.

Gareth produced a typically barnstorming display for Wales but ended up on the wrong end of a 1-0 loss to Bulgaria in Group G.

He set-up an early chance that Chris Gunter fired just wide and then failed to connect with Joe Ledley's cross in front of goal.

Ivelin Popov scored the vital goal three minutes into the second half but Gareth was there again to provide the chance for a late equaliser only to see Hal Robson-Kanu head over from close range.


Robbie Keane sparked a spectacular comeback for the Republic of Ireland but they fell just short against Russia in Group B.

The Republic skipper hit the woodwork early in the game only to see Russia storm into a 3-0 lead by the 50th minute.

Robbie won a penalty that he then converted in the 72rd minute and when Shane Long made it 3-2 four minutes later, a draw looked on.

They threw everything at the visitors for the rest of the match but that final chance proved elusive in Dublin.

Alan Hutton also completed 90 minutes for Scotland who were beaten by the only goal in the Czech Republic, Roman Hubnik heading home from a corner in the 69th minute.


Our Croatian quartet - Vedran Corluka, Niko Kranjcar, Luka Modric and Stipe Pletikosa - face Israel in a key match in Group F on Saturday night.

Meanwhile, Benoit Assou-Ekotto and Sebastien Bassong are in the Cameroon squad for an African Cup of Nations qualifier against DR Congo.


Aaron Lennon has been withdrawn from the England squad due to a back problem.