International exploits

1899 Hoffenheim international representatives enjoyed mixed fortunes during the international break as the focus once again returns to the Bundesliga campaign. While some managed to take big steps towards qualifying for their respective tournaments, others lost valuable ground and suffered disappointing, and altogether surprising, defeats. Here is the round up of the 1899 players who were in action for their countries:

"Vedo" with a helping shoulder
UEFA Euro 2012: Bosnia Herzegovina 2 - 1 Romania

Bosnia Herzegovina managed to come out on top in their "all or nothing" match against Romania keeping their qualification hopes alive in the process. 1899 representative, Vedad Ibisevic, certainly played his part in the 2-1 win in Zenica, while Sejad Salihovic missed out due to suspension. With the game finely poised at 1-1 "Vedo" was on hand to score the match winner, albeit with his shoulder, before coming off in the 76th minute. The win sees Bosnia Herzegovina move to within a point of second placed Belarus in Group D, whilst remaining five points behind group leaders France.

Croatia unlucky on their travels
UEFA Euro 2012: Georgia 1 - 0 Croatia
Friendly: France 0 - 0 Croatia

In Group F group leaders Croatia let top spot slip away from them after a last gasp Levan Kobiashvili strike saw Georgia take all three points in the 1-0 win. Josip Simunic was in the squad, but spent the whole match on the bench. Meanwhile, Greece did just enough to beat Malta and snatch the lead in the group.

However, in Paris, Simunic played the full 90 minutes putting in a resolute performance as he helped his team keep a clean sheet against the former World Cup winners. Croatia did well to frustrate France who were left to rue their missed chances having had 18 shots on goal throughout the 90 minutes. It brings an end to their 6 match winning streak since the disastrous World Cup in South Africa.

Vorsah experiences mixed fortunes with Ghana
Africa Cup of Nations: Congo 0 - 3 Ghana
Friendly: England 1 - 1 Ghana

Ghana continued to exert their dominance on Group I in the African Cup of Nations qualification stage with a comfortable 0-3 win over Congo. 1899's Isaac Vorsah put in a solid performance, but was given little to do, while former Hoffenheimer Peniel Mlapa managed to get himself on the score sheet.

However, against England, the Black Stars left it late to secure a draw following an impressive performance when Asamoah Gyan scored in extra time. There were worrying moments just before half time for Vorsah, after a full blooded 50-50 tackle with Leighton Baines saw him walk away gingerly before being replaced during the break as a precaution having done well up until that point.

Austria snapped back to reality
UEFA Euro 2012: Austria 0 - 2 Belgium
UEFA Euro 2012: Turkey 2 - 0 Austria

Austria failed to keep their momentum going in Group A as they crumbled during their so-called "week of truth" losing by two goals against both Belgium and Turkey. The first loss came courtesy of a brace from Axel Witsel, while David Alaba, on loan at Hoffenheim from FC Bayern München, lasted only 54 minutes in the match.

Alaba did complete the full 90 minutes in Istanbul, but couldn't prevent a similar result from occurring with Arda Turan and Gökhan Gönül providing the goals. The youngster had this to say after the match: "We may have lost tonight, but I'm not unhappy with the level of effort we put into the match." The results come as a major setback in terms of Austria's hopes of qualifying for Euro 2012 as both their opponents have leapfrogged them in Group A leaving Alaba and co. sitting in 4th place in Group A, 8 points adrift of leaders Germany.

Iceland win their first point
UEFA Euro 2012: Cyprus vs. Iceland

Gylfi Sigurdsson and Iceland can no longer qualify for Euro 2012 as they failed to drag themselves off the bottom of Group G and Cyprus. The match ended in a 0-0 stalemate with 1899's Sigurdsson lasting the full 90 minutes, whilst putting in a spirited display.

1899's youngsters shine at U-21 level
Friendly: Netherlands 1 - 3 Germany
Friendly: Germany 2 - 2 Italy - Tue. 29.03, 18:00 in Kassel

It was Germany's U-21 side that really shone during the international week though, as they started off with a convincing win away from home against a promising Netherlands team. The win was doubly as sweet for Hoffenheim after Vukcevic had set up the first goal for Pierre-Michel Lasogga with a fantastic cross, before Sebastian Rudy finished off a move started by Peniel Mlapa with a stunning long range effort to put the U-21's back ahead, while Lewis Holtby added the third late on.

Meanwhile, in Kassel, the result wasn't as kind to Rainer Adrion's squad after Italy managed to come from two goals down to secure a draw. Holtby bagged a brace for Germany, while Gabbiadini and Borini both netted in the final quarter of an hour. Rudy and Mlapa both started the match, but didn't quite have the same effect as they did previously. Vukcevic replaced his club colleague Mlapa during the break and maybe should have scored soon after, while Rudy only lasted another five minutes before coming off. Overall it was a good week for the youngsters who were put to the test against familiar opponents.

U-19's put to the test
Friendly: Germany 1 - 2 Belgium
Friendly: Germany 3 - 0 Ukraine

Denis Thomalla was on the losing side when the U-19's took on Belgium in Völklingen, though had to be content with a place on the bench for the full 90 minutes.

However, he was given his chance against Ukraine completing the whole match playing just in behind the striker. The youngster showed signs of what to come with some promising link up play, while new signing Kevin Volland netted the Germany's second having come on as a substitute in the 71st minute.

U-20's inseparable
Friendly: Germany 1 - 1 Poland

As the German U-20's took on their Polish counterparts, they had Robin Neupert within their ranks, but were unable to better their opponents on the night, as a goal apiece failed to separate the two teams.

Vestergaard breathes easy on the bench
Friendly U-21: Denmark 0 - 4 England
Friendly U-20: Portugal 1 - 1 Denmark

Jannik Vestergaard may have been thanking his lucky stars during Denmark's U-21 clash with England as he watched on from the bench as the Three Lions put 4 past a lackluster Danish side.

Vestergaard was, however, involved for the full 90 minutes against Portugal a few days later where Denmark were a little more successful managing to battle their way to a hard fought 1-1 draw


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