Thiago on track, Alaba struggling

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Austria with Bayern pro David Alaba lost 1-0 at home against Ireland on Saturday, another setback on the road to Russia. The 48,000 crowd at Ernst-Happel-Stadion saw James McClean score the match-winner shortly after the interval.

Alaba played the full 90 minutes for Austria, who suffered their first defeat on home soil since 2012. The result means the men from the Alpine Republic have four points from four matches, lying fourth in Group D behind Ireland on ten, Serbia on eight and Wales on six points.

Things went better for Thiago and Spain. The 2010 world champions won Saturday's encounter with Macedonia 4-0, topping Group G along with Italy on ten points.

Macedonia's Darko Velkovski opened the scoring after the half-hour, putting through his own goal. Victor Vitolo, Nacho Monreal and sub Aritz Aduriz wrapped things up in the second half. Thiago played the full 90 minutes.

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