Well, the first part of the October International Break is over, everyone. The heat is rising on the international scene with Tottenham Hotspur players gunning for World Cup Qualification.
Leading off as always are the Three Lions, as Kyle Walker (going 90 minutes) was the lone Tottenham starter for England in their 5-0 win over San Marino. Aaron Lennon however had an extended appearance, replacing the injured Theo Walcott in the 10th minute and playing the rest of the game in his first game with England since the 2010 World Cup. Jermain Defoe was an unused substitute. England traves to Poland on Tuesday for their remaining match of this international weekend..
Clint Dempsey faced an adrenaline faced match away to Antigua and Barbuda, as only a 90+ minute goal from Eddie Johnson helped the US escape with a 2-1 victory. The Yanks only need a draw in their remaining match to advance to the 4th Round of CONCACAF World Cup Qualification. To do so, they will be hosting Guatemala in Kansas City Tuesday night.
As our own Ed Francis scouted, Gareth Bale was brilliant in leading his Wales to a 2-1 victory Home Countries duel against Scotland in Cardiff. Bale's second half brace proved the difference in leading the Welsh revival. Wales will try to keep the momentum going as the Welsh Dragons travel to Croatia on Tuesday.
The Belgian duo of Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele were getting the assists, setting up a goal respectively in a 3-0 away victory over Serbia. The victory put Belgium at the top of Group A table. Belgium hosts Scotland on Tuesday.
Gylfi Sigurdsson again proved himself Iceland's Talisman, scoring a game-winning free kick in the 81st minute to give Iceland a 2-1 victory over Albania in Tirana. Iceland returns home next, hosting Switzerland on Tuesday .
A key highlighted match of the round had been Hugo Lloris's France traveling to take on the European Champions in Spain on Tuesday in a massive World Cup Qualifier. However, France got tripped up in the interim, losing 1-0 to Japan in a warm-up friendly. Lloris started in goal, but Shinji Kagawa's late winner gave Japan the 1-0 win.
Plaudits have to go Emmanuel Adebayor, as the out-of international-retirement forward has helped his Togo side qualify for the 2013 African Cup of Nations. The Togolese faced Gabon in their second leg play-off for with the score 1-1 on aggregate. Ade's goal on the hour helped Togo eventually get its crucial 2-1 win in the match. However, as our own Bryan Ashlock has noted, Togo's qualification will knock Adebayor out of action for Spurs, with the striker missing perhaps up to a month of the season.
Sandro was an 82' substitute on Thursday in Brazil's 6-0 win over Iraq. The Brazilians will now face Japan in Poland on Tuesday in another World Cup preparation friendly.
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