presented by
International roundup

Alaba spearheads Austrian drive to victory

Eleven Bayern men are on international duty at the moment, with six of them in action on Friday evening. It was a good night for the majority, as David Alaba turned in a strong performance and contributed a goal in a vital win for Austria, with Claudio Pizarro also on target for Peru. Daniel van Buyten, Anatoliy Tymoshchuk and Arjen Robben also finished as winners, but Mario Mandzukic and Croatia fell to an unexpected defeat. summarises the matches involving FCB stars.

Alaba spearheads Austrian effort
Austria took a vital step towards a first tilt at the World Cup crown since 1998 when the team spearheaded by the outstanding Alaba delighted a sell-out crowd at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna with a crucial 2-1 victory over Sweden. Alaba himself opened the scoring with a 26th minute penalty, before Marc Janko doubled the lead on 32 minutes. Johan Elmander pulled one back for the Scandinavians, but Marcel Koller's team protected their lead through to the final whistle and moved onto 11 points in the group, level with Ireland behind leaders Germany (16 points).

Victory for Van Buyten, blow for Mandzukic
Belgium are also well on course for Brazil 2014, as Van Buyten and Co completed a 2-1 win over Serbia in Brussels. De Bruyne (13) and Fellaini (60) scored for the Red Devils, with Kolarov pulling one back for the Serbs three minutes from time. Van Buyten played the full 90 minutes. By contrast, Mandzukic’ evening ended in disappointment as the Croats fell to a shock 1-0 defeat at home to last-placed Scotland. The Belgians lead the group on an impressive 19 points, with the Croats now three points in arrears.

Tymoshchuk’s triumph
Tymoshchuk and Ukraine chalked up an unexpected victory away to Group H leaders Montenegro, as Garmash (52), Konoplyanka (77), Fedetskiy (85) and Bezus (90+2) fired second-half goals in a clear-cut 4-0 victory. Ukraine are now up to 11 points in the qualifying contest, behind leaders Montenegro (14 points) and second-placed England (12). As usual, Tymoshchuk captained his national team.

Pizarro fires Peru to victory
Pizarro helped keep Peru’s hopes of a berth at the World Cup on their home continent alive, as the FCB striker scored the only goal of the meeting with Ecuador at Estadio Nacional in Lima after 12 minutes, sealing Peru’s first home win over Ecuador in 36 years. Peru are up to 14 points, only two off the play-off spot currently occupied by Venezuela (16) and with a game in hand.

Robben on target in Indonesia
Robben and the Netherlands were also victorious on the latest leg of their Far East tour. An 80,000 crowd in Jakarta saw the Dutch beat Indonesia 3-0, the FCB winger scoring the third in the last minute after earlier goals from Siem de Jong on 57 and 67 minutes.