International Roundup: Belgium & Brazil Claim Wins as England & Croatia Record Goalless Draw

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The dreaded international break is well underway and we’ll have to sit through it for another week. But some form of football is surely better than no football, so this roundup seeks to bring you the best tidbits from the latest round of international fixtures. 

Austria and Northern Ireland squared off and, as you might have guessed, it was West Ham’s Marko Arnautovic who sealed the deal for the former by scoring the only goal of the match.

Belgium and Switzerland seemed headed for a 1-1 draw after Romelu Lukaku‘s 58th-minute goal was cancelled out by Mario Gavranovic 14 minutes from time. But the Manchester United forward struck again in the 84th minute to hand his native Red Devils a tight win; his 45th international goal. 

Croatia, though, could not be separated from England as the 2018 World Cup semi-final contestants played out to a goalless draw.

Saudi Arabia went up against Brazil and lost 2-0, going down to 10 men in the 85th minute as Gabriel Jesus and Alex Sandro scored the goals for the South American side.

South Korea shocked Uruguay with a 2-1 win as Hwang Ui-Jo struck first only to have his goal wiped out by Matias Vecino. Jung Woo-Young would pop up with the winner 11 minutes from time to give Paulo Bento his second win in his first three games as South Korea boss. Oh, and Son Heung-min had a penalty saved. Oops. 

Japan also defeated Panama 3-0 in a friendly, with Takumi Minamino and Junya Ito adding to Harold Cummings’ own goal to help the four-time Asian champs to a convincing victory.

Meanwhile, Liverpool‘s Mohamed Salah was on target for Egypt as they swept Swaziland under the rug in a 4-1 Africa Cup of Nations win. The Reds forward scored a remarkable goal directly from a corner kick but would later go off injured with a muscle strain. Word coming from Egypt’s camp is that the problem isn’t a serious one, although the player needs to be assessed.

Salah’s goal (13) has left him needing only six to overtake Samuel Eto’o (18) as the competition’s highest-ever scorer.

                     Full Results Table

      Nation         Score           Nation
Austria  1 – 0 Northern Ireland
Belarus  1 – 0  Luxembourg
Belgium  2 – 1 Switzerland
Croatia  0 – 0 England
Estonia      0 – 1 Finland
Greece  1 – 0 Hungary
Moldova  2 – 0 San Marino
Saudi Arabia  0 – 2 Brazil
South Korea  2 – 1 Uruguay
Singapore  2 – 0 Mongolia
Timor-Leste  2 – 2 Cambodia
Sri Lanka          1 – 4  Malaysia
Qatar  4 – 3 Equador
Japan  3 – 0 Panama
Egypt  4 – 1 Swaziland

The football continues tomorrow but, admittedly, there aren’t that many tasty matchups. Holland and Germany are set to go head-to-head, however, so that could make up for the rest of it.

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