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INTERNATIONAL ROUND UP

PUBLISHED

11:46 23rd March 2013

by Nick Taylor

McCarthy excels for Ireland as Espinoza and Figueroa are involved in fight back from 2-0 down.

Five games took place yesterday evening that involved eight Wigan Athletic players.

The big news of the night was James McCarthy being brought back into Republic of Ireland’s starting XI after an injury to fellow midfielder Glenn Whelan.

McCarthy provided creation and pulled the midfield strings for his side, deflecting attention away from Swedish superstar Zlatan Ibrahimovic as the sides drew 0-0 in Stockholm.

The exceptional achievement of the night came almost 6,000 miles away as Maynor Figueroa and Roger Espinoza featured for 90 minutes with Honduras coming from 2-0 down at the hands of Mexico to draw 2-2 and remain top of the North, Central America and Caribbean qualifying zone.

In South America, Franco Di Santo was an unused substitute as Argentina breezed past Venezuela 3-0 to keep their lead at the top of the qualifying group at four points.

Jean Beausejour was also in action in that group playing 69 minutes but, his Chile side lost 1-0 to Peru after an 87th minute goal leaving them in sixth position, just one point behind the qualifying mark of fourth. Angelo Henriquez was an unused substitute.

Latics’ Scottish trio of Gary Caldwell, James McArthur and Shaun Maloney all played 90 minutes as they faced Wales who came from 1-0 down to win 2-1 after Norwich City’s Robert Snodgrass was sent off following a second yellow card.

On Thursday Joel Robles started and played 90 minutes for Spain’s Under 21 side as they beat Norway 5-2 and in Under 18 news forward Omar Thompson has been away with the USA Under 18s as they toured Europe with games against France and Romania.

Arouna Kone featured for Ivory Coast, coming on as his side were 3-0 up on 76 mintues, meaning they stretch their lead at the top of their World Cup qualifying group.

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