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International Round-up: Duo Close On Milestones

Seven Sunderland players were representing their countries in the latest round of international fixtures, we take a look at how they got on.

John O'Shea in action against Gibraltar
John O'Shea in action against Gibraltar
Ian Walton

John O'Shea, Seb Larsson, Charis Mavrias, Jozy Altidore and Steven Fletcher all started in the last round of international fixtures, while Costel Pantilimon and Santiago Vergini were unused substitutes.

John O'Shea earned his 99th cap for Ireland as he played the full 90 minutes against minnows Gibraltar. Ireland got off to the perfect start with a Robbie Keane hat-trick putting them 3-0 up after only 18 minutes and with the game all but won the home side made sure to boost their goal difference as they ran out 7-0 victors. Former Sunderland man James McClean scored twice, a comical own goal from the Gibraltar goalkeeper Jordan Perez and Wes Hoolahan wrapped up the scoring in an extremely comfortable win for O'Shea's team.

After a stroll in his 99th game for his country, O'Shea will have to face world champions Germany in his 100th international appearance for Ireland on Tuesday.

Seb Larsson played the full 90 minutes as he moved to within one game of equalling Charlie Hurley's club record for the number of caps earned whilst at Sunderland, which stands at 38.

Russia took the lead after only 10 minutes when Alexsander Kokorin surged through the home defence before cutting back inside and slotting the ball past Andreas Isaksson in the Swedish goal. Larsson had the chance to equalise soon after but his well struck penalty was kept out after Igor Akinfeev guessed the right way:

Despite Larsson's miss, Sweden battled back into a game Russia really should have won when Ola Toivonen turned in Jimmy Durmaz's excellent cross to make it 1-1. Although the away side had the better of the chances, that's how the game would finish.

Steven Fletcher failed to get on the scoresheet as he started in Scotland's 1-0 win over Georgia but although he had no real chances of note, he played well and created good chances for his team-mates that they spurned. Notably after dummying a pass, Fletcher showed good movement to get in behind the Georgian defence, he then found Steven Naismith with an excellent back heel but the Everton striker dragged his shot wide when he really should have done better. The miss didn't come back to bite the home side however as they won thanks to a deflected Shaun Maloney effort in the first half.

USA drew 1-1 with Ecuador in American legend Landon Donovan's final international game, with Jozy Altidore starting and playing 74 minutes. Altidore started up front as a lone striker and he was involved in the opening goal after just five minutes. Donovan's deep cross was kept in play by Altidore, who found DeAndre Yedlin on the corner of the six-yard box and he in turn found Mix Diskerud who slotted the USA into a 1-0 lead.

Altidore had a chance to double the lead after 15 minutes, after he used his strength to get away from a defender but his shot went wide of the far post. That was as close as the big striker came to scoring but the Ecuadorian defence struggled to handle him all night as the Sunderland man held the ball up well and created chances for his team-mates. Donovan will be kicking himself for not scoring on his final appearance, Altidore played him in twice but his first effort hit the post from Jozy's backheel and his second effort bobbled harmlessly wide. Ecuador made USA pay for those missed chances as Enner Valencia's long range screamer earned his side a deserved equaliser.

Charis Mavrias was recalled to the Greece side for their Euro 2016 Qualifying game away to Finland. The young winger started and played 70 minutes as he impressed new Greece manager Claudio Ranieri;

We played well (except for) the first 15 minutes of the second half, when we defended too deep.

I took the risk of picking younger players (to start) and both Karelis and Mavrias played very well.

It was debutant Nikos Karelis who gave Greece the lead with a powerful long range shot, a lead they deserved after dominating the first half. Finland came back into it in the second half and deservedly equalised through Jarkko Hurme.

Finally, Costel Pantilimon and Santiago Vergini were unused subsititutes for their countries as Romania were held to a 1-1 home draw with Hungary and Argentina lost 2-0 to Brazil respectively.

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