International Round-Up

Wayne Bridge, Joleon Lescott, Gareth Barry and Shaun Wright-Phillips all played as England were beaten 0-1 by Brazil in today's completely pointless friendly in Qatar. Lescott was extremely steady at centre-half, Bridge quietly effective, Barry his usual reliable self and SWP did quite well against stand-in left-back Michel Bastos. Robinho played no part, as expected.

Emmanuel Adebayor captained Togo to a 1-0 victory over African Group A rivals Gabon. Sadly, we won't be seeing Manu at next summer's finals. Cameroon had already progressed and will join Nigeria, Ghana, Ivory Coast and the winner of a play-off between Algeria and Egypt.

Shay Given had a relatively quiet night in goal for the Republic during the home leg of their World Cup play-off with France. The Irish defence coped well with the opposition's blunt attack, keeping Les Bleus to shots from distance until an effort from former City striker Nicolas Anelka deflected in off Sean St.Ledger. Earlier, a blatant dive from United left-back Patrice Evra might have conned some officials into pointing to the spot.

Following on from his recent threats to quit international football, Carlos Tevez endured a frustrating evening as Maradona's poor Argentina side were beaten 2-1 by Spain.

Vlad Weiss won a penalty for Slovakia in a 1-0 win over the USA. Napoli's highly-rated midfielder Mark Hamsik converted what proved the winning goal. Jonathan Bornstein had brought the tricky winger down.

Micah Richards led England's under-21's to a 1-0 win over Portugal at Wembley. Playing alongside Fulham's Chris Smalling, both were said to have impressed. Spurs' Danny Rose bagged the winner that sees Stuart Pearce's lads remain undefeated.

On Friday night left-back Ryan McGivern, currently on loan at Leicester City, appeared for Northern Ireland's under-21's as they drew 1-1 with reigning European champions Germany in Belfast. The defender did particularly well just before half-time, putting off Thomas Muller when the young Bayern Munich forward looked odds on to open the scoring. A last-gasp Oliver Norwood free-kick earning the Irish a point.

Vince Kompany was dropped from the Belgian side by coach Dick Advocaat after arriving late to a pre-game tactics meeting.

Midfield enforcer Nigel de Jong earned his 36th cap for Holland as they were held to a goalless draw by World Champions Italy in Pescara.

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