Bundesliga Stars Shine in International Friendlies

Although Coach Joachim Low’s German national team was held without a win for the first time since the 2010 World Cup in their scoreless draw with Sweden,many Bundesliga players starred for their national teams in Wednesday’s slate of international qualifiers across the world.  Bundesliga players were also influential in the two UEFA 2012 European Cup qualifiers played Wednesday.

Schalke’s Klaas-Jan Huntelaar scored the only goal in the Netherlands 1-0 win over Turkey, with Joris Mathijsen of Hamburg starting on the backline for the winning Dutch squad.  The Turkish national team coach, Guus Hidink, named Borussia Dortmund’s Nuri Sahin and Bayern Munich’s Hamit Altintop to his starting lineup.  Bosnia-Herzigovinia were 3-2 winners over Slovakia with the help of a goal from WfL Wolfsburg’s Edin Dzeko.  Hoffenheim midfielder Sejad Sahilovic started for the Bosnian team, and his Hoffenheim teammate Vedad Ibisevic entered the game as a substitute for Dzeko.  Ciprian Marica of VfB Stuttgart scored both goals in Romania’s 1-1 draw with Italy — one for Romania in the 34th minute and an own goal in the 82nd minute that gave the Italians a draw.

Not to be outdone, Borussia Dortmund striker Robert Lewandowski scored twice to lead Poland to a 3-1 win over the Ivory Coast.  Lewandoski scored both times from passes from 21 year-old Adam Matuszczyk of FC Koln.  Greece defeated Austria 2-1, with Mainz’ Christian Fuchs netting for the Austrians, while in one the big surprises of the day Hugo Almedia of Werder Bremen scored the final goal in Portugal’s 4-0 triumph over World Cup Champion Spain.  Neven Subotic of Borussia Dortmund helped key a strong Serbian defense in their 1-0 win over Bulgaria, while Bayer Leverkusen left back Michal Kadlec’s free kick hit the woodwork in the Czech Republic’s scoreless draw with Denmark.

In Euro qualifiers, Hannover 96 forward Mikael Forssell scored a hat trick to lead Finland to an 8-0 rout over tiny San Marino.  Bayern Munich’s Danijel Pranjic, Schalke’s Ivan Rakitic and Hamburg’s Mladen Petric were starters in Croatia’s 3-0 win over Malta.  Ivo Ilicevic of Kaiserslautern and Wolfsburg’s Mario Mandzukic were second half substitutes for the victorious Croatians.

Across the Atlantic Ocean, Bayer Leverkusen’s Arturo Vidal was a goal scorer for Chile as they shut out Uruguay 2-0.  And in Cairo, Mohamed Zidan of Borussia Dortmund netted for Egypt in their 3-0 knock down of Australia’s Socceroos.  I’m sure I’ve overlooked some other outstanding play Wednesday by Bundesliga athletes, but hopefully this quick survey gives one a feel for the influence of the Bundesliga throughout world football.

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Gerry Wittmann

Gerry is the founder of the Bundesliga Fanatic. Besides loving German football, he also enjoys the NBA, collecting jerseys and LPs, his pets and wishes he had more time for fishing, bicycling and learning the bass guitar.

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