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REVIEW: CANARIES ON INTERNATIONAL DUTY

1 April 2015

Three City players find the net

A total of eight Norwich City players spent time on international duty over the past week, with the vast majority enjoying a successful time while representing their respective countries.

Kyle Lafferty scored twice for Northern Ireland on Sunday as they secured a crucial 2-1 victory over Finland in their UEFA Euro 2016 Qualifier, leaving them well-placed in Group F with 12 points from five matches.

The striker, who is currently on loan at Turkish side Rizespor, had previously been an unused substitute in the 1-0 friendly defeat to Scotland four days earlier.

However, two City players did feature in that match, with Russell Martin and Steven Whittaker completing 45 and 78 minutes for the Tartan Army respectively.

Martin then played the entireity of Sunday's 6-1 win against Gibraltar at Hampden in Group D, although defensive colleague Whittaker was not involved in the matchday squad.

The same group also saw Wes Hoolahan's Republic of Ireland collect a crucial point in dramatic circumstances as Shane Long netted late on at home to Poland in a 1-1 draw.

City's talismanic midfielder was a key figure for Martin O'Neill's side throughout, and provided Long with the headed assist by calmly nodding across goal from a corner to keep their qualification hopes alive.

Just one Canaries representative came out on the wrong side of a competitive result over the course of the week, with Alex Tettey's Norway going down 5-1 to Croatia in Zagreb on Saturday evening in Group H.

Despite the defeat, there was some personal consolation for the 28-year-old as he was able to register his maiden international goal eight years after his first appearance for the Scandinavian outfit.

The final City player involved in Qualifying matches for the 2016 tournament to be held in France was Martin Olsson, who played the full game as Sweden won 2-0 in Moldova on Friday.

A brace from Zlatan Ibrahimovic ensured victory for the visitors, who currently sit second in Group G behind Austria.

Olsson was then an unused substitute on Tuesday evening as the Blagult wrapped up a 3-1 friendly win over Iran.

At youth level, Nathan Redmond racked up 180 minutes of action as England Under-21s registered successive non-competitive wins away to the Czech Republic and at home to Germany.

Gareth Southgate's team edged to a 1-0 victory in Prague on Friday, before being involved in an enthralling encounter at Middlesbrough's Riverside Stadium four days later to continue their excellent recent form.

City's winger played a key role in the latter match especially, producing an excellent finish to level the game at 2-2 with 10 minutes remaining following a brace from Germany's Philipp Hoffmann.

That goal was soon followed by a winner from James Ward-Prowse as England completed the turnaround against a team they may yet face in this summer's European Championship Finals to be held in the Czech Republic.

Finally, Harry Toffolo made his England Under-20s debut on Sunday by helping The Three Lions to a 2-1 friendly success over the USA at Plymouth's Home Park.

The young defender was given the full match to impress by manager Aidy Boothroyd, having been left on the bench for the 1-1 draw with Mexico the previous Wednesday.

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