Let’s start close to home (England). Wigan’s home nation players (James McArthur, Shaun Maloney and Gary Caldwell) all featured for Scotland in Gordon Strachans first two competitive matches; and the managers first two defeats.
The first a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Wales. The Scottish taking the lead 1-0, before being pegged back to 2-1, that was followed up by a 2-0 away defeat at the hands of Serbia. Our Scottish lads would have to pull off a miracle to qualify now.
In Ireland, James McCarthy was first dropped against Sweden, before making the starting line up in both the Republic of Ireland’s two draws. First a commendable 0-0 away at Sweden, before losing out late on to an Austrian goal to draw 2-2 in Dublin.
Over to South America and Chile, where the Chileans managed a win and a defeat; losing 1-0 away to Peru and then winning 2-0 against Uruguay Jean Beasuejour featured in both matches for hi country, continuing his own good form from recent weeks. Mr Henriquez was an unused sub in both games.
In Argentina Franco Di Santo only featured in one of their two games; coming on as a late substitute in the 1-1 draw with Bolivia.
For Honduras, both our Honduran’s featured in the two games. A hard fought home 2-2 draw against Mexico, before losing 2-0 at the hands of Panama away. Chances of qualifying now are very slim for the Hondurans.
One team which are still within a shout our Ali Al Habsi’s Omani. They got a 2-2 draw in Sydney against the Socceroos’, that was after the Oman had a 2-0 lead at half time. They were kept more or less in their own half for the second half, and just couldn’t see it out.
So good and bad for our travelling band, luckily for Latics it appears that none has picked up an injury while away with their national sides. Meaning they will all come back fit, and hopefully raring to go against Norwich on Saturday.