Another international break comes to an end, with the field of teams for the 2012 Euros completed, national sides in Africa, Asia, South America and the CONCACAF region involved in World Cup qualifying, and some superb friendlies highlighted by Germany’s sparkling form exhibited in their 3-0 win over the Netherlands. All over the world, Bundesliga players were part of the action for the countries they represent.
2012 Euro Qualification Playoffs
The Czech Republic made the 2012 Euro pool, defeating Montenegro 1-0 Tuesday. Michael Kadlec (Bayer Leverkusen) and Roman Hubnik (Hertha Berlin) were starters on the Czech backline, with Nurnberg’s Tomas Pekhart starting up front. Mainz man Zdenek Pospech came on for the victors at the hour mark while Hamburg’s Jaroslav Drobny backed up starter Peter Cech.
Croatia will join in the Euro fun next summer following their 0-0 draw Tuesday with Turkey, advancing 3-0 on aggregate. Starting for Croatia today were Gordon Schildenfeld (Eintracht Frankfurt), Mario Mandzukic (Wolfsburg) along with Ivica Olic and Danijel Pranjic of Bayern Munich. Dortmund’s Ivan Perisic earned another cap for Croatia as a 61st minute sub, while Bayer Leverkusen defender Omar Toprak started for Guus Hiddink’s very disappointing Turkish side, with Hamburg’s Gokhan Tore coming on in the 36th minute.
Portugal will also be playing in the 2012 Euros thanks to their 6-2 win over Bosnia-Herzegovina in Lisbon Tuesday. Following a scoreless draw in the first leg, Portugal built up a 2-0 early lead on goals by Nani and Cristiano Ronaldo, but the Bosnians pulled back twice, cutting leads to 2-1 and then 3-2. But Bosnia played with only 10 men most of the 2nd half following the dismissal of Senad Lulic. Hamburg’s 19 year-old Muhamed Besic came on for the Bosnians in the 65th minute, while Hoffenheim’s Vedad Ibisevic was an unused sub. The Republic of Ireland celebrated their entrance into the 2012 Euros after their 1-1 draw with Estonia, advancing 5-1 on playoff aggregate.
CONMEBOL World Cup Qualifiers
Claudio Pizarro (Werder Bremen), the Bundesliga’s leading foreign scorer, headed the starting XI that including Jefferson Farfan (Schalke) and Paolo Guerrero (Hamburg) in their WC qualifier Tuesday against Ecuador, but could only muster one shot on goal s as Ecuador won 2-0 in Quito. Colombia and Hertha Berlin’s Adrian Ramos took a 1-0 lead late in the first half against Argentina, but second-half goals by Sergio Aguero and Lionel Messi gave Argentina the 2-1 victory. Venezuela, featuring Hamburg’s Tomas Rincon and Borussia Monchengladbach’s Juan Arango in the starting XI, took a 1-0 halftime lead over Bolivia, and held on to win by that score with Rincon and Arango playing the entire 90. Chile downed Paraguay, with Dortmund’s Lucas Barrios an unused substitute, 2-0.
Asian WC Qualifying
Shinji Okazaki of Stuttgart, along with Makoto Hasebe of Wolfsburg and Augsburg’s Hajime Hosogai were in the Japanese starting XI which lost to the Korea DPR 1-0 Tuesday. Japan NT Coach Alberto Zaccheroni brought on Schalke’s Astuto Uchida near the hour mark, while Bochum’s Jong Tae-Se subbed for the DPR. South Korea also suffered a surprise defeat at the hands of Lebanon by a 2-1 score. Wolfsburg midfielder Koo Ja-Cheol scored the South Koreans only goal from the spot, while Hamburg’s Son Heung-Min started but came out at halftime.
CONCACAF WC Qualifying
SpVgg Greuther Furth forward Olivier Occean scored Canada’s opening goal in the 27th minute en route to their 4-0 CONCACAF win over St. Kitts and Nevis. Adam Straith of Energie Cottbus and Nik Ledgerwood of Wehen Wiesbaden started in the Canadian backline, while SC Preußen Münster midfielder Jonathan Beaulieu-Bourgault entered the game as a late substitute at Toronto’s BMO Field.
Canada advances to the third round of CONCACAF WC Qualifying, and have been drawn into Group C along with Honduras, Cuba and Panama. For more on some of the surprise teams that advanced into the twelve team third-round competition that kicks off next June, click here.
Africa WC Qualifying
SC Freiburg’s Cedric Makiadi started and played the entire 90 in the Congo DR’s 5-1 over Swaziland Tuesday.
The most significant match on Tuesday’s list of international friendlies for Bundesliga fans was that held in Hamburg between Germany and the Netherlands. This historic rivalry has seen the German’s winless in the last five meeting between the neighboring countries, but Tuesday’s match was all-Germany, as Miroslav Klose scored his 64th international goal, joined by goal-scorers Thomas Muller and Mesut Ozil as the trio terrorized Dutch defenders for a 3-0 German win. Manuel Neuer recorded the shut out of the Dutch side that featured Klaas-Jan Huntelaar (Schalke) and Hoffenheim teammates Ryan Babel and Edson Braafheid in the starting XI.
Jurgen Klinsmann gained his second career win as USMNT coach, and the team’s first European win in three years as the USA defeated a pacy Slovenia side 3-2. Starter Edson Buddle of FC Ingolstadt earned a recently-rare US goal in the 9th minute when his shot hit the left post and bounded into the goal. Steve Cherundolo (Hannover), Fabian Johnson (Hoffenheim) and Timothy Chandler (Nurnberg) also started for the Americans, while Daniel Williams (Hoffenheim) came on for Chandler in the 82nd minute and Jermaine Jones (Schalke) made a very late cameo appearance. Former Gladbach midfielder Michael Bradley was one of the stars for the American side. (Some U.S. player ratings from American media including Sports Illustrated, Yanks Abroad, Soccer America and ESPN Soccernet, which gave Fabian Johnson its highest rating).
Koln’s Miso Brecko had an eventful day, barely missing an attempt from a well-executed free kick play in which Brecko got free near goal but shot just wide of the far post. Brecko played through several threatening throughballs for the Slovenians, but his foul on Hoffenheim’s Johnson in the penalty area resulted in a penalty kick goal by Jozy Altidore to give the Americans a lead they wouldn’t relinquish. PSV man Tim Matavz scored twice for Slovenia and Fulham’s Clint Dempsey headed in the American’s second goal.
Austria had eight German Bundesliga players in their starting XI Tuesday — Christian Fuchs (Schalke), Sebastian Prodl and Marko Arnautovic (Werder Bremen), Emmanuel Pogatetz (Hannover), Andreas Ivanschitz and Julian Baumgartlinger (Mainz), David Alaba (Bayern Munich) and Martin Harnik (Stuttgart), but lost to the Ukraine and Bayern Munich’s Anatoliy Tymoschuk 2-1. Arnautovic scored Austria’s goal. William Kvist was a starter for the winning Danish side that dropped Finland 2-1 — Schalke’s Teemu Pukki, who just opened his Bundesliga scoring account with a brace, played the entire 90 for the Finns.
FC Koln’sAdam Matuszczyk and Dortmund’s Jakub Blaszczykowski were the only two Bundesliga starters for Poland in their 2-1 victory over Hungary Tuesday, but Kuba’s Dortmund teammates Robert Lewandowski and Lukasz Piszczek second half substitutes, as was Stuttgart’s Tamas Hajnal for the Hungarians. 1860 Munich goalkeeper Gabor Kiraly was an unused substitute for Hungary.
France had 64% of possession but could not earn a goal in their friendly with Belgium Tuesday. Bayern Munich star Franck Ribery started and went 72 minutes for Laurent Blanc’s squad, while Bayern teammate Daniel van Buyten and Timmy Simons of Nurnberg were in the Belgian starting XI as the teams played to a scoreless draw.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos of Werder Bremen started for Greece in their 3-1 friendly loss to Romania. Schalke teenager Kyriakos Papadopoulos was his second half replacement on the Greek backline. Wolfsburg’s Diego Benaglio earned the clean sheet in Switzerland’s 1-0 win over Luxembourg. Eren Derdiyok of Bayer Leverkusen and Timm Klose of Nurnberg were starters for Ottmar Hitzfeld’s Swiss side, while 19 year-old Granit Xhaka of FC Basel scored the only goal of the contest.
Valencia’s Jonas scored twice in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Egypt in a Monday friendly, ruining the Egyptian national team coaching debut of former USA headman Bob Bradley. Dortmund’s Mohamed Zidan started for the Pharoahs but was replaced at halftime.
Serbia has had its fill of Central America after losing to both Mexico and on Monday evening to Honduras 2-0 as Jerry Bengston scored a brace leading the Hondurans to victory. Hamburg’s Slobodan Rajković and Gojko Kačar were joined in the starting XI by Stuttgart’s Zdravko Kuzmanović.
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