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Friday internationals

Group leads for Shaqiri, Van Buyten, Martínez

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While Bayern’s Germany contingent were emphatically dismissing Ireland 6-1 in Dublin on Friday evening, seven other FCB stars were also in international action for their countries, half a dozen of them in World Cup qualifying and one in a friendly. After the final whistles around the world, the Munich players finished with three wins, three draws and a single defeat. Here’s our round-up:

Switzerland - Norway
Xherdan Shaqiri and his Swiss team-mates drew 1-1 with Norway in Berne and retained top spot in Group E. The FCB starlet covered the full 90 minutes and set up the opening goal for Mario Gavranovic (79) with a corner. However, Brede Hangeland (81) levelled for the visitors just 120 seconds later. The Swiss remain undefeated at the top of the table and are a point ahead of Iceland, where they play next Tuesday.

Serbia - Belgium
The Belgians and Daniel van Buyten gave notice of intent with a 3-0 victory away to much-fancied Serbia. Christian Benteke (34), Kevin de Bruyne (68) and Kevin Mirallas (90+1) scored for the Red Devils in Belgrade, with Van Buyten spending the game on the bench. Belgium now top Group A with two wins and a draw from their three games.

Macedonia - Croatia
The Belgians’ closest rivals at the moment are Croatia with striker Mario Mandzukic. The East Europeans won 2-1 away to Macedonia in Skopje and go second in Group A, where they too remain undefeated. Agim Ibraimi (16) handed the home side a surprise lead, but Vedran Corluka (33) and Ivan Rakitic (61) turned the match on its head. Mandzukic was substituted after 73 minutes.