International round-up – TSG's US duo suffer defeat against Honduras

The opening game in the final phase of the CONCACAF World Cup qualifiers ended in disappointment for the United States and Hoffenheim players Fabian Johnson and Danny Williams, after losing 2-1 at the hands of Honduras.

Both players were in Jürgen Klinsmann's starting eleven for the match. Johnson completed the full 90 at left back, while Danny Williams was replaced in defensive midfield by Maurice Edu after 58 minutes.

The score was 1-1 at that point. Clint Dempsey put the USA in front on 36 minutes, before Juan Carlos Garcia equalised just four minutes later with an impressive overhead kick. Both sides went into the break level but Jerry Bengtson sent the home crowd into raptures with the winning goal in the 79th minute.

USA manager Jürgen Klinsmann was disappointed after the final whistle: “We made too many mistakes – tactically, individually and as a team. Honduras profited from the many opportunities that we gifted them.” The United States have the chance to make their way up the table in March, with fixtures against Costa Rica (22nd) and Mexico (26th).

Casteels earns draw against Spain

Koen Casteels was the first Hoffenheim player in action internationally. His Belgium U21 side claimed an impressive 1-1 draw with Spain on Tuesday evening. Casteels was in net for the whole 90 minutes.

Despite Spain taking the lead and having chances to extend it, Belgium managed to withstand the attacks. They then started to forge their own opportunities towards the end of the first half and got a deserved equaliser just before the break. Belgium were arguably the better side in the second half but will be delighted with a draw against the current European U21 champions.

Casteels told on Wednesday: “We had a good game. The team were compact, which is important against a side like Spain. We now have a good vibe ahead of the first qualifying match for the 2015 European U21 Championship in March against Cyprus.”

No Derdiyok for Switzerland

Switzerland played out a 0-0 draw with Greece in Piraeus without 1899-striker Eren Derdiyok in the side. Ottmar Hitzfeld's team have now gone seven games without defeat. The best chances for Switzerland were missed by Wolfsburg player Ricardo Rodriguez and Admir Mehmedi from Dynamo Kiev.

“Obviously it would have been nice for the game to have been more of a spectacle, but when the teams cancel each other out like that and both are strong defensively, there is no spectacle. If a goal had come, the match probably would have opened up a bit, but the main goal was not to concede,” explained Hitzfeld after the match.

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