While their teammates took a couple of days rest ahead of next week’s biggie in Milan, a handful of Feyenoorders represented their countries in international friendlies yesterday. Big winner was Shinji Ono who helped Japan strengthen their World Cup credentials with a second win in a week. Elsewhere, Patrick Paauwe came on as a sub for Oranje, while Johan Elmander played the 90 minutes for Sweden Under 21s. Nagging injuries forced the other Feyenoord internationals to sit things out.

ONO & SMOLAREK: Shinji and Co raise a few eyebrows Japan followed up their win in Ukraine last week with a 2-0 victory over Poland in £odz, the birthplace of Ebi Smolarek and father Wlodi. Shinji Ono played from the start for the Japanese visitors, who took home the spoils with goals from Nakata and Takahara. Ebi Smolarek and Tomasz Rzasa didn’t come off the bench in a match in which the World Cup co-hosts once more confounded their Eurocentric critics. Ebi Smolarek was forced to sit out the game after coming out of the final training before the game with a sore knee, a hangover from Feyenoord’s match with Sparta at the weekend. Smolarek will have the knee checked out in Rotterdam when he returns. POLAND-JAPAN 0-2 0-1 Nakata (10.) 0-2 Takahara (42.) TEAMS: POLAND Jerzy Dudek (Radoslaw Majdan, 46), Tomasz Waldoch (Jacek Bak, 46), Tomasz Hajto, Piotr Swierczewski (Bartosz Karwan, 46), Tomasz Klos (Jacek Krzynowek, 46), Michal Zewlakow, Marek Kozminski, Radoslaw Kaluzny (Arkadiusz Bak, 79), Emmanuel Olisadebe (Marcin Zewlakow, 46), Pawel Kryszalowicz, Tomasz Iwan JAPAN Kawaguchi, Koji Nakata, Naoki Matsuda, Tsuneyasu Miyamoto, Daisuke Ichikawa, Kazuyuki Toda, Shinji Ono, Naohiro Takahara, Hidetoshi Nakata, Takayuki Suzuki, Junichi Inamoto PAAUWE: Conflicting fortunes for Patrick and Jon While Patrick Paauwe helped Holland beat eternal World Cup favourites Spain 1-0 in the Kuip with a Frank de Boer goal, Jon Dahl Tomasson’s Denmark were given a 3-0 spanking by Ireland in Dublin. Paauwe was given 20 minutes against the Spanish, but the Danes rested Tomasson due to a groin strain. The Irish were in fine form and goals by Harte, Morrison and Keane knocked the stuffing out of the Scandinavians. THE NETHERLANDS-SPAIN 1-0 (1-0) 1-0 Frank De Boer (31.) ELMANDER: Elmander puts in good performance In Kristiansand Johan Elmander was a member of the Swedish Under 21 side that drew 1-1 with Switzerland Under 21s. The Feyenoorder played the whole game and put in a good performance, but did feel it in his lungs and in his legs at the end. ‘It’s a long time ago I played a full game, so I had to get used to that,’ Johan admitted from Sweden. ‘I played an hour on the right wing and then in attack. It went really well, although I didn’t score.’ Elmander returns to Rotterdam Friday along with all the other Feyenoorders on international duty this week. And despite the extra exertions, he is completely fit. ‘I have a little twinge in my knee, but it’s not a problem.’ IRLAND-DENMARK 3-0 (1-0) 1-0 Ian Harte (19.) 2-0 Robbie Keane (54.) 3-0 Clinton Morrison (90.) GEORGIË-SOUTH-AFRIKA 4-1 1-0 Levan Kobiashvili (12.) 2-0 Georgi Demetradze (38.) 2-1 Delron Buckley (69.) 3-1 Rati Alexidze (82.) 4-1 Georgi Demetradze (86.)
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