Tottenham Hotspur supporters can't help but feel a little impatient during the current international break as they await this coming weekend's Spurs vs. Chelsea showdown at White Hart Lane. For the second time in a little over a month, several Tottenham stars shined while with their national teams. The hope is that those individuals can keep such form through Saturday's Premier League contest, a game that should tell us quite a bit about the current state of the Andre Villas-Boas era at Spurs.
Tottenham Hotspur players on international duty: Gareth Bale
Of all the Tottenham players called up for international duty, none produced a more memorable moment this past Friday than Gareth Bale's second goal for Wales in their match against Scotland. Bale was again the subject of a controversial moment when he earned a questionable penalty ten minutes from time. Tottenham's key man made no mistake from the spot, and he then broke the hearts of the visitors with a true golazo one minute from time when he sped toward the left side of the penalty area before launching a far post left-footed rocket that landed in the back of the net. It was Bale at his absolute best, not to mention the game-winning tally. Wales will be away to Croatia on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur players on international duty: Gylfi Sigurdsson
Bale wasn't the only Tottenham player to net a match-winner for his national team on Friday. Iceland were tied 1-1 during their away game against Albania when Sigurdsson prepared to take a free kick from just a few yards outside of the middle of the box. Sigurdsson curled a right-footed hit into the top left corner of the net, a free kick that was as well struck as you'll see. The visitors held onto the 2-1 lead until the final whistle, a result that put them on six points in Group E of Europe World Cup qualifying. They will host Switzerland, currently atop the group and on seven points, on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur players on international duty: Jan Vertonghen and Moussa Dembele
Neither Tottenham man scored in Belgium's 3-0 romp over Serbia, but both had a hand in goals that were netted by the visitors. Dembele came close to assisting on what would have been Benteke's second goal of the contest in the 64th minute, but the Belgium front man nodded the ball over the bar. The Tottenham midfielder got his assist just three minutes later, though, when he finished a run down the right wing with a pass to Kevin De Bruyne. De Bruyne easily beat the 'keeper, doubling Belgium's advantage. The game was then put to bed seconds into stoppage time, when Vertonghen delivered a low cross from the left wing into the penalty area for Kevin Mirallas. Mirallas guided the ball across the line for the third and final goal of the match.
The result was, according to the official Tottenham website, Serbia's first home loss in World Cup qualifying in over ten years. Belgium are now tied with Croatia atop Group A, a group shared with Wales, on seven points. Belgium technically lead the group on goal difference, and they will host Scotland on Tuesday.
Tottenham Hotspur players on international duty: Clint Dempsey
It wasn't all rainbows and gumdrops for Tottenham players last Friday. Dempsey was largely an invisible man during the first half of the Antigua & Barbuda vs. United States qualifier, and some US supporters I spoke with at the time named him as the team's worst player over the opening 45 minutes of play. Dempsey got into the game more in the second half, but he played no part in either goal scored by the Americans on that night.
The United States can avoid what would be a disastrous early exit from qualification with a win or draw against Guatemala on Tuesday. They'll also advance if Jamaica are unable to defeat A & B. Both the US and Jamaica will be home for their final qualifiers of October.
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