International Break: Recap

Claudio Villa

Viola Internationals are on their way back ...

International break is over and Viola the world round are jetting back to Firenze to jump right smack dab into the middle of Serie A and Europa League play.

World Cup Qualifying

Europe

Croatia

Ante Rebic sat on the bench in the qualifier on Friday against Serbia, which ended in a 1-1 tie and was then called to the Under 21 for their qualifiers.

Croatia have clinched second place In Group A but are 5 points behind Belgium with two matches left in the group. The next match in October is against Belgium and Croatia will have to win that to have any hope of directly qualifying this round.

The dropped points also allowed a few other second place teams to catch up and even pass Croatia for best second place squad as Greece now has 19 points. Two other squads, Sweden and Portugal, have equaled Croatia with 17 points.

Serbia

Nenad Tomovic and Serbia earned four points this break, one on the tie with Croatia and three after beating Wales on Tuesday. That leaves Serbia with eleven points, but the only have one match left and so are mathematically eliminated.

Matija Nastasic played 90 minutes in both matches, so Tomovic should be fairly well rested.

Italy

Italy qualified for the World Cup this weekend with two win against Bulgaria and the Czech Republic.

Alberto Aquilani sat on the bench for both matches and should be fairly fit. Manuel Pasqual, however, had his dreams realized as he was called up in between matches and actually saw the pitch for his first cap.

Sadly, Pasqual's International debut party turned sour with ten minutes to go as he was clunked in the forehead by a wildly thrown elbow that opened a gash on his head that required 7 stitches. He will miss the next match against Cagliari and probably the following Europa League match against Ferreira as well.

Germany

Germany coasted through the break with two wins, scoring three goals in each match. Germany are 5 points up on Austria with two matches to go.

Mario Gomez did not play.

Montenegro

Stefan Savic and Montenegro stumbled with a tie on Friday. That, combined with an England romp brought the two teams level on points. Montenegro got a break on Tuesday when Ukraine held England to a scoreless draw. Montenegro now trail England by one point and are tied with Ukraine.

Savic played 90 minutes on Friday and did get a knock, but he was quoted as saying he was sure he'll be ready to go.


South America

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With Brazil already qualified as hosts, top 4 teams automatically qualify while 5th place plays a playoff. Each team will play 18 matches. The playoff will be against Jordan in November, the first leg in Jordan on the 13th or 14th and the return leg in South America on the 20th.

Colombia

Juan Cuadrado and Colombia got a 1-0 win against ten-men Ecuador Friday, but stumbled Tuesday in Uruguay, losing 2-0. Colombia only need a point to qualify, but will have to wait until October, when they host Chile and travel to Paraguay. They are currently in second place

Argentina qualified for the World Cup.

Cuadrado only play the second half on Friday and didn't come in until near the seventy minute mark on Tuesday, so he might be fresher than he might have been, although traveling around the world takes it toll as well.

Chile

Chile won their one qualifier on Friday against Venezuela 3-0 and that result was enough to see them move to third place, ahead of Ecuador.

Chile will finish the qualifying round in October with matches at Colombia and at home against Ecuador.

Matias Fernandez spent both matches on the bench. David Pizarro played thirty minutes on Friday and forty seven minutes on Tuesday.

Peru

Juan Manuel Vargas made the pitch for Peru at halftime on Friday in a 2-1 loss to Uruguay and played a full 90 minutes on Tuesday in another loss for Peru, 3-2 in Venezuela. Vargas played 90 minutes in the second match.

Under 21

Marko Bakic played an hour for Montenegro U21's victory against Romania in Group 6 play, Rafal Wolski played 73 minutes for Poland, took a free kick that turned into an own goal for Poland, but Sweden put three goals on the Poles.

Ante Rebic played most of the match on Monday, scored a goal, got an assist on another and hit the word work on a third chance as the Croatia Under 21 squad beat Ukraine on the road.

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