MARKO ARNAUTOVIC went head to head with two of his new Stoke City team-mates last night as Austria kept alive their hopes of qualifying for next summer’s World Cup finals.
Austria beat the Republic of Ireland 1-0 in Vienna, with Arnautovic joining the action as a substitute 30 minutes from time.
The forward, who joined the Potters from Werder Bremen on transfer deadline day, found himself up against Jon Walters and Marc Wilson as Austria clung grimly to their hopes of claiming the runners-up spot in Group C.
Stoke’s other Irish squad member, Glenn Whelan, missed the game due to a hamstring injury that could threaten his hopes of lining up in Saturday’s Premier League encounter with Manchester City at the Britannia Stadium.
Bosnia-Herzegovina, with Asmir Begovic in goal, came from behind to beat Slovakia 2-1 and maintain their place at the head of their qualifying group on goal difference from Greece.
Midfielder Wilson Palacios was on the scoresheet for Honduras as they drew 2-2 with Panama – a goal that ultimately sealed the United States’ passage through to the finals.
Geoff Cameron sat out America’s win over Mexico through suspension but the full back, along with compatriots Brek Shea and Maurice Edu can now train their sights on the finals.
Kenwyne Jones continued his impressive start to the season with two goals – including an audacious volley from distance – as Trinidad & Tobago beat Saudi Arabia 3-1 in an international friendly. However, the game finished on a sour note for the striker as he limped out of the game with an ankle injury.
Jack Butland, meanwhile, helped England’s Under 21 side claim a valuable Euro 2015 point as they drew 1-1 with Finland.
Tickets for the visit of Manchester City to the Britannia Stadium on Saturday are still available. Buy from scfcdirect.com, in person direct from the Britannia Stadium Ticket Office or by calling 01782 367599.