FOOTBALL NEWS

11/09/2012 22:00, Report by Adam Bostock
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Welbeck boosts England

While Welbeck looked in good shape, the fitness of a fellow United forward could be a concern at Carrington as the Reds prepare for Saturday's return to league action. Robin van Persie was substituted at half-time as the Netherlands won 4-1 in Hungary, although quotes attributed to his national coach Louis van Gaal suggest the withdrawal was just a precautionary measure. Jeremain Lens (2), Bruno Martens and van Persie's replacement Klaas Jan Huntelaar were on the Dutch side of the scoresheet.

Elsewhere on a busy night of World Cup 2014 qualifying matches in Europe, there were victories for United's Patrice Evra (France beat Belarus 3-1), Nani (Portugal 3-0 Azerbaijan) and Joshua King (Norway 2-1 Slovenia), but disappointment for Jonny Evans as Northern Ireland conceded a late equaliser to be held 1-1 by underdogs Luxembourg in Belfast. Evra and Evans both played full matches, Nani clocked up 76 minutes with Portugal and King came on at half-time for the Norwegians in Oslo.

Meanwhile, Robbie Brady made an excellent, goalscoring debut for the Republic of Ireland in their 4-1 friendly win over Oman at Fulham's Craven Cottage. The young winger, who filled in at left-back for United on Tour 2012, created the first and third strikes for Shane Long and Kevin Doyle respectively - and in between scored his first international goal at senior level with a volley in the 22nd minute.

More - Carrick: Best years ahead | Internationals: Cleverley stars | Tom thrilled for Welbeck

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