The second set of World Cup qualifying matches during this international break, brought little cheer for the Tottenham players. Belgium defeated Macedonia, England and the US managed to draw in Montenegro and Mexico respectively but while Gareth Bale scored for Wales, they suffered a home defeat to Croatia and France lost at home to Spain..
Gareth Bale had recovered to start and played the full 90 minutes against Croatia in Swansea. He put Wales ahead after 21 minutes from the penalty spot and had a chance to increase their lead but shot over. Croatia who included former Tottenham players, Luka Modric, Vedran Corluka and goalkeeper, Pletikosa in their team, scored two goals in the final 13 minutes to take the points.
Belgium won 1 – 0 in Brussels to complete a double over Macedonia. They scored in the second half and both Jan Vertonghen and Mousa Dembele started the game. Dembele was substituted after 55 minutes. Belgium top their group ahead of Croatia.
England drew 1 – 1 in Montenegro but none of the Tottenham players were involved in the match. Having taken an early lead through Wayne Rooney, England had to withstand a second half battering but Montenegro equalised with 13 minutes remaining. England remain in second place, two points behind their hosts who still have to play at Wembley.
Clint Dempsey captain the US team who earned a point in Mexico in a tough scoreless draw. The Mexico contained former Tottenham player Giovani dos Santos. A week ago the United States was a team in trouble having suffered defeat in its opening qualifying game with two difficult ones ahead. Critical questions were being raised about manager, Jurgen Klinsmann, but now, all is well. The US, having taken four points, moved from last to the top of their group.
France relinquished top spot in their group following a single goal defeat to Spain in Paris. Hugo Lloris was beaten in the second half and leaves France in second place, a point behind Spain.
On Sunday Lewis Holtby scored for the German Under-21 team which defeated Israel 2 – 1 in a friendly. Holtby who captained the team scored the opening goal, late in the first half. The Germans were awarded a penalty which Holtby took. The goalkeeper saved his penalty but Holtby reacted quickest to the rebound to make amends and scored with a header.
On Monday evening, the England Under-21 team had a comfortable 4 – 0 friendly win over Austria. Andros Townsend started the match and played the whole game while Danny Rose played in the first half. Adam Smith came on as a substitute for the second half.
Of greatest concern for Tottenham manager, Andre Villas-Boas will be that all the players return free from injury ahead of a Premier League crucial match at Swansea on Saturday afternoon.