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INTERNATIONAL ROUND-UP

Courtesy of Action Images

PUBLISHED

09:58 11th September 2013

by Nick Taylor

Shaun Maloney scores a last gasp winner for Scotland and Honduras creep ever closer to the 2014 World Cup.

Last night's headline maker was Latics' free kick specialist Shaun Maloney who provided a trademark set piece strike in the 88th minute to give Scotland a 2-1 victory away against Macedonia.

The play-making midfielder came inches away from doubling Scotland's lead earlier in the game when he placed Ikechi Anya's pull back just beyond the right hand post.

Macedonia equalised with seven minutes remaining, only for 77th minute substitute James McArthur to earn a free kick 25 yards from goal after his bursting dribble saw him cynically downed.

Maloney stepped up and with expert precision he whipped his effort beyond the goalkeeper and into the top left corner, sparking jubilant celebrations as Scotland lifted themselves off the bottom of their World Cup qualifying group and up to fourth.

Following the game Maloney explained his goal to the Scottish FA website, saying:

"It was pure relief when the ball went in and it was a good feeling because I think we deserved to win.

"There was a lot of pressure at the time but we also had other chances to score, the most important thing is that it was a very good performance and we got what we wanted."

In Tegucigalpa, Honduras, a last minute goal proved painful for two of Latics' other internationals as Roger Espinoza and Juan Carlos Garcia's side missed out on going a point away from World Cup qualification as Panama equalised to claim a 2-2 draw in the 90th minute.

Honduras had the lead twice as Espinoza played the full 90 minutes, with former Latics midfielder Wilson Palacios putting them 2-1 up.

Garcia was once again an unused substitute for his country, as they sit third in the North/Central America and Caribbean qualifying zone, three points above the play-off mark.

Another side close to qualifying for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil are Chile.

They were in friendly action this time around against World and European Champions Spain, succumbing to a late Jesus Navas goal that saw Chile pegged back to 2-2 in the 91st minute in Switzerland.

Latics' left sider Jean Beausejour played just four minutes as he came on as a late substitute for Chile's two-goal Eduardo Vargas.

Chile's rivals in the South America World Cup qualifying zone completed their games in hand, but La Roja remain in third place, two points clear of the play-off spot in their group.

James McClean was used as a 73rd minute substitute for Republic of Ireland as they slipped to a 1-0 defeat away to Austria, conceding with just six minutes left on the clock.

Giovanni Trapattoni's side now sit fourth in their qualifying group, six points away from the play-off position with just two games remaining.

In Under 21 action, Marko Marosi earned his first call-up to the Slovakia squad as they continued their 100% record in the European Under 21 Championship qualifying phase with a 1-0 win against Georgia.

Marosi was an unused substitute during the game and becomes Latics' second Slovakian Under 21 with former forward Filip Orsula earning a call-up last season.

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