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International round-up: Mixed fortunes for Villa stars in qualifiers

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International round-up: Mixed fortunes for Villa stars in qualifiers


There were mixed fortunes for Villa players in World Cup qualification action on Friday evening.

Christian Benteke saw his Belgium side seal their place in next summer's finals in Brazil, but Andreas Weimann's World Cup hopes were dashed.

Group B is set for an intriguing climax on Tuesday - with Aleksandar Tonev, Nicklas Helenius and Libor Kozak all still hopeful of sealing a play-off berth for their respective nations.

Nine-Man Bulgaria held on to second place despite a 2-1 defeat in Armenia.

Tonev came on the for last half an hour for the Bulgarians who, despite the numerical disadvantage after having two players sent off, looked on course for a point.

But Ivelin Popov's equaliser proved to be in vain as the Armenians struck three minutes from time to move within a point of their opponents.

Helenius' Denmark are level on points with second place following a 2-2 draw against group winners Italy in Copenhagen.

Villa forward Helenius didn't feature for the Danes, who went 2-1 up through a Nicklas Bendtner brace after Pablo Osvaldo fired Italy in front.

A late equaliser from ex-Liverpool midfielder Alberto Aquilani made it 2-2.

But a 4-1 win in Malta for Kozak's Czech Republic keeps them in the hunt for the play-offs.

Kozak also missed out on the action as the Czechs kept their hopes alive going into Tuesday's tasty finale against Bulgaria in Sofia.

There was disappointment for Weimann, who played 73 minutes for Austria as their World Cup dream ended with a 2-1 defeat to Sweden.

Martin Harnik gave Austria a 29th-minute lead, before Martin Olsson equalised for the Swedes.

A late strike from Zlatan Ibrahimovic sealed second spot in Group C.

Group winners Germany were too strong for Ciaran Clark's Republic of Ireland.

Clark played the full 90 minutes in Cologne as Germany won 3-0 thanks to goals from Sami Khedira, Andre Schurle and Mesut Ozil.

Benteke - nursing a hip flexor injury - watched on as his Belgium team-mates won 2-1 in Croatia to confirm their place in Brazil next summer.

Two goals from Everton's Romelu Lukaku clinched top spot in Group A.

Ron Vlaar's Holland, who had already qualified, earned a stunning 8-1 win over Hungary.

Vlaar made the starting line-up in Amsterdam as Robin van Persie scored a hat-trick to become Holland's all-time leading scorer.

Brad Guzan was a sub in USA's 2-0 win over Jamaica.

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AVFC Official
By @AVFCOfficial 12th October 2013
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