With Senegal not playing and injured forward duo Ricardo Fuller and Mamady Sidibe missing their games for Jamaica and Mali respectively, it was a somewhat depleted corps of Potters players that took to the international field last night in friendlies and a World Cup qualifier, with four in total in action.
Fuller had been due to square up against teammate Seyi Olofinjana’s Nigeria at Millwall’s New Den before his shoulder injury, so Olofinjana was the sole Stoke representative in a dour goalless draw in which former Stoke winger Demar Phillips featured for the Reggae Boyz.
Olofinjana in action for Nigeria against Jamaica
Stoke number one ‘keeper Thomas Sorensen also played for his native Denmark last night in their 1-1 draw away in Greece. Jonas Borring had given Denmark a first-half lead before Portsmouth striker Fanis Gekas caught out Sorensen with a clever chip to level the scores mid-way through the second-half.
Sorensen smiles ruefully after conceding Greece’s equaliser
Finally, Stoke duo midfielder Glenn Whelan and right-back Stephen Kelly both played the full match for the Republic of Ireland in their 2-1 World Cup qualifying success over Georgia at Croke Park in Dublin. Georgia’s Alexander Iashvilli gave the former Soviet nation the lead inside a minute when he was able to capitalise on Kelly’s failure to clear the ball at the back post, scoring in similar circumstances to David Healy for Sunderland against Stoke last Saturday. Two second-half goals from Tottenham striker Robbie Keane gave Ireland the win though, one coming from a controversial penalty, lifting Ireland into a tie for the lead of qualifying Group Eight.
Whelan earns his eighth Ireland cap
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