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Three FCB goalscorers

Play-offs for Ribéry and Mandzukic

In parallel with the club’s Germany internationals, six Bayern stars were in action for their countries on Tuesday evening. Potentially crucial World Cup qualifying points were at stake for Franck Ribéry, but the other five Munich men were involved in dead rubbers, with nothing more than prestige riding on the results. Three FCB players added to their international goals totals on a night summarised here by fcbayern.de.

It was not to be for Ribéry and France as they sought to keep alive their last slender hopes of a direct qualifying berth for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. Les Bleues did the necessary and beat Finland 3-0 at home, but world and European champions Spain comfortably defeated Georgia 2-0 in the parallel Group I fixture to seal first place and a guaranteed trip to South America next summer.

Ribéry on target again

Ribéry opened the scoring after 11 minutes of the clash with the Finns in Paris, with a Joona Toivio own goal (76) and substitute Karim Benzema (87) bringing up the final score. Despite the victory, the French finished second in the standings, three points off Spain. Ribéry completed the full 90 minutes.

There was nothing at stake in the table in the remaining matches in Group A, as Belgium and Daniel van Buyten had already won the section ahead of Croatia and Mario Mandzukic. The Red Devils drew 1-1 with Wales and completed their qualifying schedule undefeated, Kevin de Bruyne scoring a 64th-minute opener for the home team in Brussels, with Aaron Ramsey earning a point for Wales two minutes from time. Van Buyten was substituted 20 minutes from the end. In Glasgow, Croatia fell 2-0 to Scotland with Mandzukic playing for 80 minutes.

Alaba on target again

It all means Ribéry and Mandzukic must now try their luck in the European play-offs, which are scheduled for 15 and 19 November. The draw for the final eliminators between the eight best group runners-up takes place on 21 October at Home of FIFA in Zurich. The draw will take into account the next edition of the world ranking, due out on 17 October. The four best placed teams in the ranking will be seeded and drawn against the four less well placed teams in the home and away play-offs.

The runners-up spot was the declared target for David Alaba and Austria in Group C, but an agonising 2-1 defeat away to Sweden last Friday meant the men from the Alps were playing only for pride away to the Faroe Islands. Andreas Ivanschitz (16), Sebastian Prödl (64) and Alaba (67, pen), who featured from start to finish, made it a winning end to a creditable but ultimately unsuccessful qualifying effort from Marcel Koller’s men.

Robben on target again

The Netherlands and Arjen Robben qualified for Brazil with two games to spare, but Dutch coach Louis van Gaal took the final Group D clash against Turkey in Istanbul seriously, with Robben firing the visitors in front after just seven minutes. That set the men in orange on their way to a 2-0 victory, sealed by Wesley Sneijder immediately after half-time for the team with the overall best record in European qualifying. By contrast, defeat for the home side meant the Turks missed out on the chance of a play-off spot.

Elsewhere, FCB defender Dante travelled all the way to China but did not feature in Brazil’s 2-0 friendly victory over Zambia. The goals for A Seleção in Beijing on Tuesday came in the second half, with Oscar (69) and Dedé (76) scoring for the World Cup hosts, who extended their winning run to four straight games. Both Dante and former Munich midfielder Luiz Gustavo were unused substitutes.

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