John O'Shea

Busy weekend for international stars

by Ashley Houghton

A look at how Black Cats stars fared in World Cup Qualifiers.

John O’Shea skippered Ireland as Giovanni Trapattoni’s side continued their push for a play-off place with a 3-0 win over the Faroe Islands.

O’Shea played 90 minutes whilst James McClean played the final quarter-hour as Robbie Keane marked his record-breaking 126th cap for Ireland with a hat-trick to secure the points for the Irish in Dublin.

Trapattoni’s side are now third in the group, level on points with Austria who defeated Seb Larsson’s Sweden on Friday.

Larsson played 90 minutes as the Swedes’ qualification hopes suffered a blow at the hands of the Austrians who ran out 2-1 winners in Vienna.

David Alaba and Marc Janko gave the hosts the lead before Johan Elmander set up a tense final ten minutes with a late consolation.

Elsewhere, Stephane Sessegnon captained Benin as his side went down 3-1 to Algeria in Group H of the 2014 African World Cup qualifiers.

The defeat all but ends the West Africans’ hopes of a place in the finals with the Algerians looking most likely to top the group and progress to the final stage of qualifying.

Benin did take the lead through Rudy Gestede before Islam Slimani’s double put the visitors ahead.

Nabil Ghilas added a third for Algeria who need to avoid defeat against Mali to guarantee their qualification.

Meanwhile, Ahmed Elmohamady played the final 26 minutes for Egypt as the Pharaohs all but secured their qualification with a 4-2 win over Zimbabwe in Harare.

Mohamed Aboutrika gave the visitors the lead before Knowledge Musona levelled for Zimbabwe.

Mohamed Salah then bagged a treble for the Egyptians as Lincoln Zvasiya scored a late consolation for the hosts.

Egypt need a point from their final two qualification matches to confirm their passage into the third, and final, stage of qualification in Africa.