Well we've done it. We told you we'd be back with another international round-up, and not being one to make idle threats, here it is in all it's glory.
With plenty up fro grabs in the Euro 2012 qualifiers, plus an Asian World Cup 2014 Qualifier for Ji Dong-Won to be part of. I'm counting nine SAFC men away on duty, so lets see how they all got on in their respective games...
We'll start at the furthest outpost. That being Seoul, where Ji Dong-Won was part of the starting line-up as his South Korea team defeated UAE 2-1. Ji however couldn't add to his eight goals in twelve international games as Arsenal's Park Chu-Young scored for the hosts, whilst an own goal sealed the deal. Steve Bruce and Niall Quinn, both in Korea to promote the club were in attendance, and will have been impressed by Ji's industy and creation through a relatively easy game for Korea.
Sebastian Larsson was in scintillating form for Sweden on Friday, and he kept it up on Tuesday night with a goal in Sweden's 3-2 win over Holland. Larsson starting again on the right hand side of midfield (as opposed to us using him on the opposite side) was industrious throughout. Larsson also tucked away a penalty to equalise for the Swedes, and send them through to Euro 2012. Easily the best of the SAFC players this break.
Sunderland will most certainly now have some representation in the tournament. Unless he's injured. Or we sell him to some tin-pot league where he'll get paid loads.
Speaking of which, how did Asamoah Gyan get on in Ghana's friendly against Nigeria, held at Watford's Vicarage Road? Well, they drew 0-0 as both teams changed the line-ups massively from the weekend. Gyan came on as a second half substitute alongside fellow ex-SAFC man Sulley Muntari, and both failed to have much impact on proceedings.
The Republic of Ireland sealed a play-off spot meaning we could have further interest in Euro 2012, as John O'Shea and company sealed a 2-1 win over an exciting Armenian side. The stuffing was knocked out of Armenia early on as they had their keeper sent off and the Irish raced to a 2-0 lead. As for Armenia's goal, it was a decent hit from all of 20 yards. Not much O'Shea could have done about it. Keiren Westwood was an unused substitute.
O'Shea played the full ninety minutes in central defence. A different position to where he's played for us. Much like Larsson. Strange they're suddenly on winning teams. I digress...
Nicklas Bendtner was back on the goals trail as Denmark surprised several by beating Portugal 2-1, and qualify for the Euro's. As the Danes broke away in the 60th minute, Bendtner lost his marker to tap in a cross from close range. A goal, and a good display should set him up nicely for this weekends game against... oh forget it.
And now a few who won't be at Euro 2012, starting with Simon Mignolet. Simon's Belgian side lost 3-1 to Germany. When coincided with Turkey's win over Lithuania, that's the end of the road for The Waffles, as nobody at all ever calls them. As for the goals conceded, well there was nothing he could do about Mesut Ozil's thunderous opener. The second from Andre Schurrle was a quick counter with Mignolet one-on-one with the striker. He came out a bit far, but was left with little option. The last, from Mario Gomez, was a good hit, but Mignolet couldn't get enough on it. I don't blame him too much for it.
Also doing something else this summer will be Phil Bardsley as a plucky Spanish side overcame the mighty Scots, also by three goals to one. Bardo played the full ninety, and was just sort of 'there' along with several others in an unspectacular performance. No natural winger for him to deal with, and little opportunity to attack.
And in Sofia in front of literally tens of fans, David Vaughan was an unused substitute as Wales beat Bulgaria by a goal to nil.
Solid performances from a few, others with performances they can certainly be proud of. That's your international round-up done. I do hope you've enjoyed, and we'll do this again sometime soon. Bonsoir! (that's foreign that is)
The previous part of this is here if you're interested.