A host of West Ham United players were focused on World Cup fixtures on Saturday as the 2010 qualifiers began in Europe ahead of next Wednesday's second round of fixtures - whufc.com rounds up the news.
Summer signing Valon Behrami won his 21st cap as Switzerland got their Group 2 campaign off to a solid start with a 2-2 draw in Israel. He played until the 90th minute before being replaced. Goals from Benjamin Huggel and Blaise 'Kufo looked like securing a fine win before a late Yossi Benayoun strike and last-gasp Ben Sahar equaliser for the hosts. The Swiss will expect to claim all three points with Wednesday's visit of Luxembourg.
Robert Green, capped once, and Matthew Upson, with eight appearances for his country, failed to make the bench for England coach Fabio Capello in the 2-0 win against Andorra in Barcelona. Both will travel with the squad to Zagreb for the early Group 6 showdown against Croatia on Wednesday. Half-time substitute Joe Cole scored both goals to deny an Andorran side that had kept the visitors out in the first half.
Danny Gabbidon, James Collins, Jack Collison and Craig Bellamy will all have been interested observers as Wales ground out a 1-0 home win against Azerbaijan in Cardiff. None of the four will be available for Wednesday's trip to Moscow to take on Russia. Sam Vokes scored the only goal of the game late on after Jason Koumas had missed a second-half penalty.
Lucas Neill captained Australia to a memorable 2-1 friendly win away to the Netherlands in Eindhoven on Saturday night. Klaas Jan Huntelaar put the Dutch in front on five minutes but a Harry Kewell penalty just after half-time and a late Josh Kennedy winner gave the spoils to the Socceroos. It was the perfect warm-up before Wednesday's trip to Uzebekistan as Australia get the next stage of their Asian zone World Cup qualification programme under way.