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International roundup

Alaba paves way for win, victory for Dante

Four of Bayern’s non-German pros were in friendly international action on Tuesday night. The results were a mixed bag as the quartet came home with two wins and two defeats.

Alaba inspires Austrians to win over USA

David Alaba and Austria enjoyed a satisfactory end to the 2013 international footballing year with a 1–0 victory over 2014 World Cup hopefuls USA. A month after the Austrians’ own dream of a place in Brazil evaporated, Marcel Koller’s side played out a tight encounter with Juergen Klinsmann’s US team at Ernst Happel Stadium in Vienna. Marc Janko scored the 33rd-minute winner for the home team, after a move instigated by Alaba. The Bayern man played the first 72 minutes.

Martínez watches from bench in South Africa

The return to the scene of their greatest triumph ended in an unexpected defeat for Javi Martínez and Spain. Three and a half years after their World Cup triumph in South Africa, the Spanish fell by the only goal of the game to the home side in Johannesburg. Bernard Parker scored on 56 minutes to ensure the South Africans were rewarded for a committed and passionate display. Martínez spent the game in the dugout.

Daniel denied by the woodwork

Daniel van Buyten was unable to play for Belgium in a 2–0 defeat to Colombia last week due to flu, but the FCB defender returned to his national team on Tuesday. However, Daniel and the highly-fancied Belgians fell 3–2 to lively Japan at King Baudoin Stadium in Brussels. Kevin Mirallas (15) opened for the Red Devils, but Yoichiro Kakitani (37), Keisuke Honda (54) and Shinji Okazaki (63) turned the match on its head. The Belgians went for broke at the end but were unlucky when Van Buyten hit the goal frame (76). The Bayern man was substituted two minutes later, and although Toby Alderweireld (80) pulled another goal back, the Japanese held on for victory.

Dante features in Brazil victory

In the early hours of Wednesday morning European time, Brazil continued their impressive preparations for the World Cup on home soil next summer with a sixth successive victory. In a match played in Canadian metropolis Toronto, Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side edged out Chile 2-1. FCB centre-back Dante, who scored in a 5–0 victory over Honduras last week, came on as a 74th-minute sub. Hulk (14) and Robinho (79) scored the goals for A Selecao, with Eduardo Vargas on target for Chile (71).