International Roundup: Sunderland Stars In The Thick Of The Action

Laurence Griffiths - Getty Images

We recap all the involvement of Sunderland's star players around the globe this week, including reports on all the Irish contingent, Seb Larsson, Steven Fletcher and the rest. Join us as we see how they got on...

There were shocking scenes as an England Under-21 side featuring Connor Wickham and Danny Rose grabbed a last minute victory over their Serbian counterparts in the qualifying for the net European Under-21 Championships - and both Sunderland players were at the heart of it.

With the game on the line and the Serbs with a freekick in the final throws of injury time, they sent forward the 'keeper. After much bobbling around, the ball broke up to Tom Ince who squared for Wickham to tap home the easiest of goals (although he did take a rather heavy touch) from a yard out into a completely unguarded net. However, this was the start of the trouble.

As he celebrated various items, rumoured to include lighters, keys, chairs, banana's and more rained down on him and his teammates, leading to what can only be described as a mass-brawl on the pitch between players, staff and officials from both sides.

It seemed to stem from racist comments directed towards Raheem Sterling and notably from our perspective, our own Danny Rose. Rose - quite rightly fuming that such an attitude still exists in 2012 - kicked the ball away in fury and was sent off with a second yellow card, gesturing as he walked from the pitch that 'monkey' chants had been heard and was what incensed him.

Nice one UEFA. Effectively sending a lad off for being racially abused. If there's any sense in this the decision will be overturned, and Serbia handed a heavy punishment. That's a huge "if" though when it comes to UEFA.

Prior to that though Rose had been having a solid game defensively and put in a fair few decent crosses when he got forward. Wickham grabbed the goal, but had only been on the pitch for a minute prior to that.

Adam Johnson and the England senior side saw their game called off in Poland after torrential rain. It's been rescheduled for this afternoon with a 4pm kick off. Lovely for the working crowd, however much more annoying for the 3000 or so hardy fellows who went over to watch the game.

From our perspective this is also a bad thing as it's now not expected that Johnson will be back in training any time before Friday at best ahead of this weekend's Wear-Tyne Derby.

It wasn't the best of night's for David Vaughan, who racked up another 90 minutes as he and his Welsh counterparts were beaten 2-0 by Croatia. Vaughan had a subdued performance, and was arguably lucky to get the full game under his belt, so lacking was his contribution.

For Scotland, Steven Fletcher once again started as they took on Simon Mignolet's Belgium, although Fletcher couldn't bring an attacking threat as it was one way traffic for large spells, with the Belgians taking a comfortable 2-0 victory.

Fletcher was starved of service and was eventually withdrawn after 75 minutes in favor of Kenny Miller. Thankfully he's got through these two games unscathed I suppose.

Simon Mignolet will be equally fresh having been an unused substitute once again as Thiubault Courtois goes on to establish himself as the Belgians number one 'keeper.

Into Germany and Seb Larsson and his Swedish counterparts staged one of the most dramatic comeback's in international football history as they came from 4-0 down to draw 4-4 with the hosts.

Larsson had a busy game but couldn't grab himself a goal or assist among the four before being withdrawn on 75 minutes. On the plus side he provided plenty of dangerous crosses that could have had his side back in the game even earlier had the chances been taken. A decent day out for him, and he should arrive back on Wearside in high spirits.

Over to the Faroe Islands for what looks like it could be Giovanni Trappatoni's final game in charge of the boys in green, as his side saw off their opponents 4-1, although that did flatter them slightly.

Keiren Westwood started and and coped well with everything thrown at him. An early cross/shot was well tipped over and away to safety.

John O'Shea once again started in the centre of defence and was in part culpable for the Faroe's goal. A ball which should have been closed down much earlier came floating into the area, and O'Shea simply didn't deal with it allowing the opposing striker to power a header beyond a helpless Westwood.

Away from that though O'Shea had a reasonable game, but nothing to write home about. Better he gets these out his system on international duty though than this weekend!

David Meyler also made an appearance from the bench to earn a cap in the final minute of the game, James McClean once again sat out through injury.

Ji Dong-Won was not involved as Iran beat South Korea 1-0 in World Cup Qualifying.

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