With World Cup qualification either on the line or ripe for the taking, many nations this week featured their Bayern Munich stars in their efforts to get to the world's biggest stage.
Top Five Performances
Franck Ribery trounced Australia to the tune of 1 goal and 3 assists while the rest of his fellow Frenchmen provided the other 2 goals in Friday's 6-0 rout of Australia. Ribery opened the scoring for the French in the 8' minutes as he slotted home a penalty. In the next 20 minutes he assisted his fellow teammates twice
Toni Kroos was resplendent as the main conduit for the German's in their 3-0 win over Ireland. He forced the turnover that led to Phillip Lahm's assist on Sami Khedira's goal, while he performed one of the cheekiest chips over the entire Irish team to a streaking Andre Scurrle who collected, turned and slotted home for the second goal of the evening. Kroos' second assist came on a brilliant stoppage time counterattack which saw him with acres of space and eons of time in the central midfield, making his perfectly weighted pass to pick out the streaking Mesut Oezil for the third goal of the game routine child's play for the 23 year old. Highlights here.
Xherdan Shaqiri played 53' minutes for the Swiss in their 2-1 win over Albania scoring on a scuffed shot in the 47' as the Swiss booked their ticket to World Cup 2014.
Manuel Neuer made 5 saves on evening and was a rock in goal for the Germans as they faced a tough attacking opponent in Ireland. Unfortunately owing to circumstances in having to perform his job, he was unable to complete a single daisy chain this match. At least we know he normally gets plenty of practice on that front.for Bayern, but even a single day out of practice could spell doom for his reputation as a world class daisy chainer.
Arjen Robben scored a second half stoppage time goal in the Netherlands 8-1 rout of Hungary with a stunning 20 yard free kick that curled up and over the wall into the top corner. Robben also assisted Robin Van Persie with first a wonderful cross on an overlap, then followed some minutes later when he headed down a cross in the area for the charging Manchester United Dutchmen, who scored a hat trick on the evening. Highlights here.
Phillip Lahm provided the assist on the first German goal of the evening, while Thomas Muller played 88' on the right wing pairing with the captain before making way for Leverkusen standout Sidney Sam. Mario Goetze played 4 minutes which seems about par for this season. Bastian Schweinsteiger did Schweinsteiger things as only Schweinsteiger does them for the full 90.
Claudio Pizarro started for the Peruvians and scored their lone goal on a long range shot into the corner, while Aregntina scored three on the evening. While Argentina techincally won by scoring more goals then their counterparts, in reality they lost because Pizarro had the best hair on the evening.
Dante played 90 minutes for the Selecao in their 2-0 win over South Korea, partnering with David Luiz in central midfield in what was a combination of grooviness and curliness in the hair department.
Mario Mandžukić played 90 minutes for Croatia in their 2-1 loss to Belgium, which included some high quality chances on goal. Unfortunately, the Belgians were more clinical on the evening simply because they didn't have to contend with the likes of Thibaut Courtois in goal like Mandzuklic did. While Daniel Van Buyten didn't have his most excellent game for the Belgians, it was enough for them as they qualified directly to the World Cup.