Spain continued their poor form when they lost 2-1 to Slovakia, which was followed by Poland defeating Germany 2-0 to get their first ever victory over the Germans. The Netherlands had to fight from behind to beat Kazakhstan but then they suffered a 2-0 loss to Iceland on 13 October. The Swiss also found themselves on the losing end against Slovenia after a late penalty cost them a vital point away from home.

The higher ranked sides did at least regain composure for their second matches of the week which saw Spain, France, England and Italy end their international breaks victorious and keep their qualifying campaigns on track.

In Africa the nations faced off for their place in Afcon 2015. The new-look Bafana Bafana side impressed yet again with a two goal victory over Congo and they find themselves in a comfortable position to qualify as Nigeria was shocked by a 1-0 loss to Sudan. The other matches ended predictably with stronger teams like Ghana and Ivory Coast defeating their opponents.

South American powerhouses Brazil and Argentina took part in a friendly match in Asia. The match ended 1-0 in favour of the Brazilians. They then went on to beat, respectively, Japan and Hong-Kong more than convincingly.

After a fascinating international break there is talk about the performance of big name players on the international stage. Diego Costa comes to mind straight away. The start of his Chelsea career has been faultless but he does not seem to replicate this form for Spain. Furthermore, Lionel Messi also missed a penalty against Argentinean rivals Brazil, which inevitably lost them the game. Thankfully players such as Neymar, who netted four times against Japan, and Wayne Rooney, who scored in both of the English team’s victories, seem to settle debates that the world’s best footballers thrive for their club but struggle for their country.



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