International Blues: Two headed to Brazil, two headed home

Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

Two Evertonians punched their tickets to Brazil for the main event last night, while Everton's Ireland duo appear to be left on the outside looking in.

Tim Howard and the US national team beat Mexico 2-0 at home (again), which, with a little help from a Honduras draw against Panama, clinched the USMNT's berth in the World Cup next summer. Howard was not called upon terribly frequently, but came up big in the moments where needed. Elsewhere in the CONCACAF region, Bryan Oviedo was an unused substitute in Costa Rica's 1-1 draw in Jamaica. The point was all Los Ticos needed to punch their ticket to Brazil as well.

Conversely, James McCarthy and Seamus Coleman played full 90s in a 1-0 loss to Austria, that all but destroys their hopes to make the 2014 World Cup. To qualify, they would need to win in Germany in October, as well as at home against Kazakhstan, and make up -6 goal differential to Sweden.

It was not all doom and gloom in Europe for the international Toffees though, as Phil Jagielka again paired with Gary Cahill at the center of defense for the Three Lions, and helped England to a 0-0 draw in Kiev. Jags and Cahill have been hailed as the two brightest spots for England, who with this result is in control of their own destiny. Wins at home against Montenegro and Poland in October will guarantee them a place in Brazil. Leighton Baines and Ross Barkley were unused substitutes. Elsewhere, Steven Naismith played the full 90 in a 2-1 win in Macedonia in a meaningless World Cup qualifier.

Four Blues featured for U-21 sides in 2015 Euro U-21 qualifying as well. John Stones played a full 90 in England's 1-1 draw at Finland, Shane Duffy captained Ireland through a 4-0 drubbing at the hands of Germany, Apostolos Vellios played 76 minutes for Greece in a 5-0 victory over Malta, and Gerard Deulofeu played a full 90 in Spain's 4-0 win over Albania.

Perhaps most importantly, it appears none of the Everton players who played for their countries over the last week have picked up any injuries.

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