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Mixed bag for FCB stars

Luca and Daniel off to winning start

Apart from Bayern’s Germany contingent, two more of the club’s international stars also helped their countries make a winning start to 2010 World Cup qualification on Saturday, although FCB men recorded a draw, a defeat and the frustration of watching from the stands in matches elsewhere.

Italy duly registered a first three points on the road to South Africa, although the World Cup holders unconvincingly overcame Cyprus 2-1 thanks to a stoppage time effort from Antonio Di Natale (90+2). The Udinese striker had given his men an early lead (8), but Efstathios Aloneftis soon levelled (29). Luca Toni was substituted at half-time.

Daniel van Buyten completed the full 90 minutes of Belgium’s 3-2 victory over Estonia in Liege. Wesley Sonck (40, 80) and Steven Defour (75) scored for the Red Devils, Sergei Zenjov (57) and Andres Oper (90+3) pulling goals back for the men from the Baltic.

Injury prevented Hamit Altintop playing any active role as Turkey ran out comfortable 2-0 winners away to Armenia, Tuncay Sanli (60) and Semih Sentürk (78) netting for the in-form Turks. Franck Ribéry, also absent injured, will have watched with dismay as France fell 3-1 to Austria in Vienna. Marc Janko (8), Philippe Mexes (o.g. 42) and Andreas Ivanschitz (73) scored for the resurgent hosts, Sidney Govou (62) claiming the only goal for the French.