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Liverpool: LFC International Round-Up (08/10/2017)

Liverpool: LFC International Round-Up (08/10/2017)

Find out how Liverpool's players have been performing for their countries at senior international level...

The first of the latest two rounds of World Cup 2018 qualifiers, which will conclude this stage of the process in most continents, have taken place in recent days with a number of Liverpool players involved.

Reds skipper Jordan Henderson was one of them; playing the full 90 minutes as a stoppage time goal from Harry Kane secured England an uninspiring 1-0 win over Slovenia at Wembley on Thursday night.

Anfield colleague Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain also started the encounter but after an indifferent showing, as part of a front three, was replaced by Jesse Lingard in the 64th minute.

Daniel Sturridge was an unused substitute.

The three points secure the Three Lions a place at Russia next summer as Group F winners but the runners-up spot is still very much up for grabs.

An unfortunate 89th minute own-goal by former Liverpool defender Martin Skrtel puts Scotland in the driving seat after a dramatic 1-0 win over Slovakia at Hampden Park.

Both Slovakia and Slovenia, whom the Scots play their final group stage game against on Sunday, could still leapfrog Gordon Strachan's men if they slip-up, while, with only eight of the nine second-placed teams guaranteed a play-off spot, they will also miss out if they finish second but with the worst overall record.

Along with Sheffield Wednesday's Barry Bannan, Kop left-back Andrew Robertson was one of the most impressive performers for a Scotland side who dominated the contest from the moment the visitors were reduced to 10-men midway through the first half.

The second place team with the worst record heading into the penultimate round of matches was Wales but they improved their situation with a 1-0 win over Georgia in Tbilisi on Friday.

Teenager Ben Woodburn replaced goalscorer Tom Lawrence in the 90th minute, while Danny Ward was an unused substitute.

Like England, Germany, as expected, will be at next summer's World Cup after a 3-1 win over Northern Ireland in Belfast on Thursday made doubly sure of their progress.

Sebastian Rudy, Sandro Wagner and Joshua Kimmich were the men on target for the defending champions, for whom Emre Can featured for the final 24 minutes.

Also on Thursday, but during the early hours UK time and on the other side of the world, an already-qualified Brazil played out an uneventful 0-0 draw in Bolivia.

Philippe Coutinho started the South American qualification fixture, played at an altitude of 11,932 feet above sea level, before being replaced by Willian in the 66th minute.

Roberto Firmino remained confined to the substitutes bench.

On Saturday, back in Europe, there was bad news for the Netherlands and Liverpool's Georginio Wijnaldum in Group A.

Despite recording a 3-1 win in Belarus, in which Wijnaldum completed the full 90 and picked up a booking, scores elsewhere, most notably Sweden's 8-0 thrashing of Luxembourg, leaves Oranje on the brink of elimination.

Only an unlikely seven-goal win over the Swedes, when the two meet in Holland on Tuesday, will now secure a World Cup play-off spot behind likely group winners France for Dick Advocaat's side.

Elsewhere, in Group H, Ragnar Klavan captained an already-eliminated Estonia to a 6-0 away win over Gibraltar.

Confirmed group winners Belgium came from 2-1 down to win an entertaining encounter with Bosnia-Herzegovina 4-3.

Both Simon Mignolet and on loan Wolfsburg forward Divock Origi were unused replacements for Belgium boss Roberto Martinez.

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Writer:Gavin Kelley-Day
Date:Sunday October 8 2017
Time: 10:11AM

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