Date: 10th October 2006 at 8:39am
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With the International fixture programme at the half way stage for many, finished for some, it would prove a weekend of mixed fortunes for the Blackburn Rovers players involved…

Aaron Mokoena captained, and scored for his country South Africa in their 1-0 win over Zambia in the African Cup of Nationals Qualifier. The goal would mark a first for Mokoena in his 58th International appearance.

Lucas Neill and Brett Emerton both played the full ninety minutes of Australia’s friendly with Paraguay in Brisbane. The game ended 1-1 with Neill captaining the Aussies for the first time, becoming their 50th captain in the process.

Defender Zurab Khizinashvilli would play in his countries 2-0 friendly defeat with Germany. The Georgian would start the match in Germany but would fail to finish it as he would be sent off.

Zurab’s current central defensive partner Andre Ooijer would play the full ninety minutes of Holland’s 1-1 draw with Bulgaria. The Rovers defender would set up the Dutch equaliser in their Euro 2008 Qualifier in Bulgaria.

Another Rovers player featuring for the full ninety minutes would be Morten Gamst Pedersen. He would be on the wrong side of a 1-0 defeat for Norway in Greece.

Jason Brown will probably be glad that he wasn’t handed a starting roll against Slovakia following Wales’ 5-1 hammering in their home Euro 2008 Qualifier.

Third choice goalkeeper Peter Enckelman would also fail to play in Finland’s 0-0 draw with Armenia in Armenia. Both he and Brown would in fact fail to make the final squad’s of 18 for these games.

Alan Judge, Eddie Nolan and Keith Treacy all played their parts as the Republic of Ireland progressed to the UEFA U19 Elite Championship Qualifying phase with a 2-0 win over Macedonia, with Judge scoring and the 4-1 win over Belarus, unfortunately Nolan would however miss a penalty in this match.

Young Swedish left-back Martin Olsson however would fail to feature in one Swedish game, the 4-1 win over the Faroe Islands, but he would play the second of their mini tournament games, playing the full ninety minutes of their 2-0 win over Iceland.

So far so good, with all players however coming through unscathed, so fingers crossed…

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