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International round-up

It was good news - with one exception - for our players on World Cup qualifying duty on Wednesday night.

It was good news - with one exception - for our players on World Cup qualifying duty on Wednesday night.

Wilson Palacios was involved in arguably the result of the night as Honduras hammered leaders Costa Rica 4-0 in North, Central and Caribbean qualifying.

The midfielder played 90 minutes as Honduras closed the gap to two points on the Costa Ricans with four games remaining.

Wilson's hopes of making next summer's finals were boosted further by Mexico's 2-1 win against the USA, who were three points clear of Honduras at start of play. Giovani dos Santos played the full 90 minutes for Mexico in the Azteca Stadium.

The North, Central and Caribbean standings now read - Costa Rica 12 points, Honduras 10, USA 10, Mexico 9, El Slavador 5, Trinidad & Tobago 5. The top three qualify for South Africa while the fourth-placed team takes on the fifth-placed team in South America in a play-off.

Back in Europe, both Luka Modric and Vedran Corluka played 90 minutes as Croatia produced a key 3-1 win in Belarus to move into second place behind England in Group Six.

Luka was involved in the first goal, as his fierce drive was turned around for a corner that was subsequently headed home by Ivica Olic.

It's England at Wembley next for Luka and Vedran and Croatia still have Ukraine breathing down their necks for that key second spot.

If it was all good news for Wilson, Gio, Luka and Vedran then it was all bad news for Alan Hutton and Scotland.

The defender played the full 90 minutes - starting at full-back before switching to centre-half when Steven Caldwell was sent off - as George Burley's men suffered a 4-0 loss against Norway in Oslo.

Second place is still up for grabs in Group Nine but realistically, Scotland will now have to beat Macedonia and runaway leaders Holland to stand a chance.

Roman v Argentina


Jermain Defoe grabbed the headlines - CLICK HERE - with both goals as England fought back from 2-0 down to grab a draw against Holland, but he wasn't the only Spurs striker on target on Wednesday night.

Roman Pavlyuchenko found the net for Russia against Diego Maradona's Argentina but it was in vein as Argentina ran out 3-2 winners in Moscow.

Robbie Keane had a couple of early chances for the Republic of Ireland but they were undone by two quick goals from Everton's Tim Cahill as Australia ran out 3-0 winners in the full international at Thomond Park, home of Munster rugby.

Heurelho Gomes was an unused substitute as Brazil beat Estonia 1-0 in Tallinn while Adel Taarabt's Morocco drew 1-1 with Congo.