Franco makes debut whilst Ali suffers blow in World Cup qualification
It was a memorable night for Wigan Athletic striker Franco Di Santo, who made his international debut for Argentina in their friendly match against Saudi Arabia in Riyadh.
Latics’ number nine came off the bench for the second-half, replacing Eduardo Salvio, to make his bow for Alejandro Sabella’s team and came close to scoring on his first appearance, heading over the bar late on in what would have been a winning goal as the game ended 0-0.
Elsewhere it was a bad night for Latics’ international stars, each suffering defeat in a mixture of friendly matches and World Cup qualification ties.
Ali Al Habsi was again named captain of Oman as they took on Japan in a vital qualifier in Muscat. Having pulled the score back to 1-1, Paul Le Guen’s team suffered late heartache as the visitors scored a winning goal in the 89th minute, which leaves Oman in joint second place in their group.
Arouna Kone made his first start for Ivory Coast since joining Latics in their friendly match away to Austria, coming off in the second-half as his side lost 3-0.
James McCarthy played the full 90 minutes for Republic of Ireland in their friendly against Greece in Dublin’s Aviva Stadium. There was a surprise defeat for Giovanni Trapattoni’s team, as the 2004 European Championship winners ran out 1-0 winners on the night.
Jean Beausejour made his second international appearance since January in a friendly match for Chile, who took on Serbia. The 28-year-old played 70 minutes before being substituted in a 3-1 defeat.
Fraser Fyvie was in action for Scotland’s Under 21 team, in an away friendly against Portugal. The midfielder played the full 90 minutes, but although his team led 2-0 at the break they were pegged back and ended up losing 3-2 to the home side.
Finally, Slovakia Under 21 forward Filip Orsula played the full 90 minutes as his team took on Russia Under 21 in a friendly in Marbella. The 19-year-old, who made his Latics debut earlier this season in the Capital One Cup, could not help overturn a 2-1 defeat however.