Sunday, 7 September 2008

International Round-Up

Seven Geta players were called up for internationals in the current break, with all of their countries now having played one game.

First, the worst news: Roberto 'Pato' Abbondanzieri lasted just fifteen minutes against Paraguay in Argentina's World Cup qualifier, which ended in a 1-1 draw. You may remember that Oscar Ustari was similarly afflicted by injury during the Albiceleste's Olympic campaign; now Geta have lost their first as well as second-choice goalkeeper to the Argentine curse. Having received five stitches on his knee, it remains to be seen how long he's out for. Daniel 'Cata' Díaz managed the latter 45 minutes without picking up a knock, at least.

Cosmin Contra played the entire 90 minutes of Romania's match against Lithuania on Saturday afternoon, although he'll wish he hadn't: the Tricolorii were thrashed 3-0 by the Baltic side.

Ibrahim Kas did not feature in Turkey's 2-0 victory in Yerevan against Armenia.

Ikechukwu Uche scored the only goal of the game as Nigeria kept up their 100% record with a WC qualifying win over South Africa away from home. In doing so he eliminated the Bafana Bafana from the 2010 Africa Cup of Nations in Angola.

Joffre Guerrón played the whole 90 minutes as Ecuador beat Bolivia 3-1 to remain just about in the runnings for a place at the 2010 World Cup, unlikely though qualification is.

Esteban Granero opened the scoring against Kazakhstan in the Spain U-21 side's 2-1 win in Almaty before being substituted off with eight minutes left to go. According to Marca he "commanded" Spain's gameplay and was a worthy goalscorer. Great news there, at least, as he helped the young Spaniards to their seventh consecutive qualification win (although it was far from easy.)

Uche has fulfilled his international duties. Granero's U-21s meet Russia on Tuesday the 9th. Contra must still face Wales on the 10th; Cata could play against Peru on the same day (as Pato watches from the sidelines); Ibrahim Kas will meet Belgium, also on the 10th; Guerrón's Ecuador meet Uruguay on Wednesday, too.

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