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International Rovers round-up

Charlie skippers Scotland, whilst Corry tastes success over South Korea

25 March 2018

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One captained his country, one played his part in a dramatic victory and three were interested observers on a mixed weekend of international duty for Rovers' stars.

There was a proud moment for Charlie Mulgrew, who skippered Scotland for the first time in Alex McLeish's first friendly back in charge of Tartan Army.

The Rovers defender played 82 minutes, as Scotland slipped to a narrow 1-0 defeat to Costa Rica at Hampden.

Marco Urena scored the only goal of the game on 14 minutes, slotting home from inside the area from Bryan Oviedo's cut-back.

Mulgrew and Scotland are back in action on Tuesday night with a game against Hungary.

In Belfast, Corry Evans started for Northern Ireland, who secured a 2-1 victory over World Cup qualifiers South Korea.

The Rovers midfielder played 62 minutes at Windsor Park, as a Kim Min-jae own goal and substitute Paul Smyth's late winner cancelled out Kwon Chang-hoon's early strike.

The game, which marked Northern Ireland's return to action since their controversial World Cup play-off defeat to Switzerland in November, was the first of nine fixtures for Michael O'Neill's men this year.

In Antalya, Rovers defenders Darragh Lenihan and Derrick Williams - who had both joined up with the senior Republic of Ireland squad for the first time - were unused substitutes as Turkey triumphed 1-0.

Mehmet Topal scored the only goal of the game on 52 minutes, taking advantage of some slack marking from a corner to volley home from 10 yards out.

Rovers' defensive duo will have learned lots and benefited greatly from the experience, but they will have to wait a little bit longer for their first caps.

Finally, in Murcia, Spain, goalkeeper Jayson Leutwiler watched on from the bench, as Canada defeated New Zealand 1-0 in new head coach John Herdman's first game in charge.

Toronto forward Toisant Ricketts scored the winner on 54 minutes, latching onto a long ball, before smashing a shot past the Kiwi keeper.


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