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International round-up

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Things may be getting somewhat drab on the domestic front, but Fulham's international representatives have been lighting up football stadiums worldwide while Martin Jol and his back room staff take a well-earned break.

A whole host of first team players and academy players alike took part in national games over the past week and, in some circumstances, impressed no-end.

Clint Dempsey showed new USA coach Jurgen Klinsmann exactly how masterful he can be with the ball at his feet, scoring the winning goal in a 1-0 friendly victory over well-respected Honduras. Dempsey received the ball in the penalty area before displaying a mere glimpse of his truly abundant flair in dragging the ball back onto his weaker left foot and nestling the ball acutely in the top left hand corner. 

Damien Duff and Stephen Kelly will, arguably, be the happiest returnees when they are welcomed back to Motspur Park ahead of Saturday's game at the Britannia Stadium. Both players featured for the Republic of Ireland against Armenia, a game in which victory assured Giovanni Trapattoni's side a place in the play off round for qualification to next year's European Championship. Neither player scored but they both provided essentially astute performances.

Bobby Zamora and David Stockdale were in the England squad that drew with Macedonia, although neither featured, while Chris Baird will feel deflated after a 2-1 home defeat to Estonia removed any minor hope of qualifying for 2012's Euros. The result is also likely to affect Nigel Worthington's role as manager, with the former Norwich boss looking to step down.

Phillipe Senderos of Switzerland, Moussa Dembele of Belgium and Jon Arne Riise of Norway also all felt disappointment, which is testament to how difficult it now is to qualify for major international tournaments. Norway came closest, but they required a greater margin of victory over Cyprus to leapfrog group H rivals Portugal. They won 3-1 but it wasn't enough.

Matthew Briggs impressed for England Under 21's side, as they outshone a resilient Iceland team. Briggs, as always, looked creative on the left flank. However, he was ruled out of his side's next win, which made it 3 out of 3 for Pearce's men, after suffering an injury during the warm up.

Pajtim Kasami and Kerim Frei also featured at a younger level.