Academy products shine in Internationals

Last updated : 11 September 2007 By Ben Collins
City midfielder Ireland scored his 4th goal in 6 caps for the Republic of Ireland as they were held to a 2-2 draw by Slovakia on Saturday.

Ireland's left-foot strike gave his country a 7th-minute lead but the home nation twice struck back in Bratislava, their second equaliser coming in stoppage time.

City defender Richard Dunne was named man of the match but was disappointed with the result, which leaves the Republic needing to win in Prague on Wednesday to go level with the second-placed Czech Republic in Group D of the Euro 2008 qualifiers.

"I suppose with the way it happened - with them scoring in the last minute - it feels like a defeat," Dunney said. "The ball just skimmed off my head and skimmed off the pitch for their player to hit it and, to be fair, he hit it very well.

"Our aim was get 4 points from these 2 matches and we still have that in our sights," he added. "We feel in ourselves that we can go to the Czech Republic and get a victory. We've got to be positive and make sure everyone gets behind us."

Ireland has withdrawn from the squad for Wednesday's game. He flew back to the Republic on Sunday after learning of the death of his grandmother shortly after the Slovakia game.

Micah Richards also marked his 6th international cap with a goal, his 1st for England. He outjumped an Israel defender to head home Gareth Barry's 66th-minute corner and seal a comfortable 3-0 win. Former City winger Shaun Wright-Phillips scored England's 1st goal and won man of the match.

Richards is sure to continue at right-back for Wednesday's crucial home game against Russia. Victory for England would send us above Russia into second in Group E.

Nedum Onuoha was the 4th City Academy product to score over the weekend, heading the 1st goal for England's U21s in their 3-0 win over Montenegro on Friday.

"It's not bad at all," he told "The other three are always likely to score but I've not scored in 2 or 3 years so it was nice to break that duck. Hopefully it will have a snowball effect now and I'll get a few more."

It was, in fact, Onuoha's 1st goal since scoring for England's U20s in a 2-0 win over Russia in Feb 2005. The U21s now face Bulgaria in Sofia on Tuesday.

Elsewhere, Elano came off the bench late on to score Brazil's final goal from the penalty spot in a 4-2 win over the USA in Chicago.

Vedran Corluka played 90 minutes in Croatia's 2-0 home win against Estonia. New Arsenal striker Eduardo scored both goals.

Martin Petrov also played the full game as Bulgaria suffered a 2-0 defeat away to Holland. Petrov had a shot cleared off the line late on.

City keeper Andreas Isaksson confirmed his fitness as he kept a clean sheet for Sweden in their 0-0 draw with Denmark in Gothenburg.