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International round-up: Clark over the moon after first Ireland goal

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International round-up: Clark over the moon after first Ireland goal


Ciaran Clark described scoring his first international goal as "the best feeling I've ever had" after helping the Republic of Ireland to a 2-0 win over Poland.

Clark, who earned his fourth cap in last night's friendly at Dublin's Aviva Stadium, cooly slotted home from close range after Polish keeper Artur Boruc saved his initial effort.

It set the boys in green on the way to a morale-boosting win, with Norwich's Wes Hoolahan also opening his account at international level.

Villa defender Clark hopes the success with give Giovanni Trapattoni's team some momentum to take into next month's World Cup qualifiers against Sweden and Austria.

"It was the best feeling I've ever had," said Clark.

"We defended well from the start. They look the dominant side in the first half but we weathered the storm. We can take confidence from that."

Fellow Villa academy graduate Andreas Weimann was on the losing team for Austria against a Gareth Bale-inspired Wales.

Weimann lasted just over an hour of the friendly in Cardiff, which Wales won 2-1 thanks to goals from Bale and Sam Vokes.

Christian Benteke featured for Belgium in their 2-1 triumph over Slovakia.

Chelsea's Eden Hazard converted a penalty before Slovakia's Dries Mertens equalised three minutes from the end.

But there was still time for substitute Dries Mertens to score in stoppage time for Belgium.

Brett Holman was in action for Australia, who were on the receiving end of a late Romania comeback.

The friendly clash in Malaga saw the Socceroos lead twice with Luke Wilkshire and Robert Cornthwaite scoring either side of a Cristian Tanase strike.

But Bogdan Stancu and Gabriel Torje netted late on to give the Romanians a 3-2 success.

Ron Vlaar was on the bench for Holland as they drew 1-1 with Italy in Amsterdam.

An experimental Dutch side took the lead through Jeremain Lens but Marco Verratti salvaged a late equaliser for Italy.

Brad Guzan was an unused substitute in the USA's 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to Honduras.

Alan Hutton - currently on loan at Spanish side Real Mallorca - helped Gordon Strachan get his Scotland reign off to a winning start against Estonia.

The only goal of the game was scored by Celtic defender Charlie Mulgrew.

Derrick Williams and Samir Carruthers played the first half as Republic of Ireland U21s earned a 3-0 win over Holland.

Pick up your tickets for West Ham.

By @AVFCOfficial 7th February 2013
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