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International Round-up: Europe, South America and some friendlies


AGN's Edmund Bobie takes us on a trip around the globe, a run through the interesting games played on Tuesday, September 10, 2013.


Italy booked their spot as the second European club to qualify for the world cup in Brazil after a win over the Czech Republic in Turin, Libor Kozak put the visitors ahead in the 19th minute in but Giorgio Chellini equalised shortly to bring the home side back into the game. Mario Balloteli converted a penalty in the second half to hand the Azzuris the win, they lead the group with 20 points.


Robin Van Persie ensured qualification for the Dutch after he scored a brace against Andorra. The Netherlands have qualified for the World cup with 22 points.


Per Mertesacker scored an early goal to give Joachims Loew’s men the lead against the Faroe Island, Mesut Ozil converted a penalty to double the lead. Tomas Muller then sealed the victory after he grabbed the third goal in the 84th minute.


Sweden is closely trailing the Germans by 17 points; Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s goal was enough to secure a win for the Scandinavians against Kazakhstan.


Group A’s Serbia thumped Wales 3 – 0 in Cardiff, as Belgium lead the group closely followed by Croatia.


Elsewhere in Kiev, England shared the spoils with Ukraine. England now lead the group with just a single point and will have to beat Montenegro and Poland before a qualification spot for the World cup is guaranteed.


Bosnia came from behind to clinch an important 2 – 1 win over Slovakia. Greece kept the heat up in Group G as Dimitris Salpingidi’s goal gave them a vital 1 – 0 win over Latvia.


France found their scoring form as they had to come back from behind twice to beat Belarus by 4 goals to 2. Franck Ribery got the French team back into the game after the visitors took a 2 – 0 lead. Paul Pogba and Samir Nasri sealed the victory in the final 20 minutes of the game.


In Group E, Fabian Schar helped Switzerland beat Norway 2 – 0 to enhance their chances of qualification.


In group B Daniel Agger kept the Danes' hopes of qualifying to the World Cup alive. He converted a penalty to secure a win for Denmark against a 10-man Armenia. Turkey won 2 – 0 courtesy of a Burak Yilmaz effort and a well-taken goal by Mevlut Erdinc.


Austria managed a 1 – 0 win over Republic of Ireland in Dublin. David Alaba scored late in the game, elsewhere Northern Ireland lost 3 – 2 by Luxembourg. Fabio Capello’s Russia moved towards securing a qualification slot after beating Israel in Petersburg.


In South America, Argentina were the first team to qualify for next summer’s mundial in Brazil, after they hit 5 goals past Paraguay. Uruguay needed late goals from Edison Cavani and Christian Stuani to win at home against Colombia. Venezuela won at home against Peru. Ecuador was also held to a draw away by Bolivia.


In other international friendlies, World Champions Spain were held by Chile, Eduardo Vargas got both goals for the South American side. The Chileans were ahead till Pedro nicked in an equaliser in the late embers of the game.


Neymar continued his fine scoring form for Brazil as they sent Portugal to the cleaners after beating them by 3 – 1, Raul Meireless put the visitors ahead after he capitalised on a defensive blunder in the 17th minute. Thiago Silva equalised minutes later, before Neymar and Jo completed the riot for the Selecao.


By Edmund Bobie


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