Liverpool FC international break round-up: Two Reds make England debuts as others seal World Cup berths

England dup Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke made their debuts for the Three Lions over the international break as Dejan Lovren's Croatia and Sadio Mané's Senegal ensured they will play at the World Cup in Russia next summer.

Liverpool FC international break round-up: Two Reds make England debuts as others seal World Cup berths
(Picture: Getty Images - Matthew Ashton/AMA)

Dejan Lovren and Sadio Mané helped their countries secure World Cup berths while both Joe Gomez and Dominic Solanke made their England debuts in a productive break for Liverpool's internationals.

Mané helped Senegal to beat South Africa 2-0 and ensure their place at a first World Cup since 2002. A sublime pass allowed Diafra Sakho to open the scoring before the winger also played an important role in the second goal of the afternoon.

A slight recurrence of the hamstring injury that forced him to miss five games across October and November forced him to miss their return clash with South Africa - a 2-1 win - and return to Merseyside early.

Elsewhere centre-back Lovren helped Croatia overcome Greece in a two-legged play-off. The Blazers followed up a 4-1 home win with a 0-0 away draw three days later, lasting 90 minutes in both matches, to seal their second successive place in the tournament's finals. 

Gomez and Solanke face Coutinho and Firmino

In England's World Cup warm-up friendlies, Gomez earned his first cap against Germany due to an injury to Phil Jones, coming off the bench to complete 75 minutes as one of a three-man back-line.

Emre Can came off the bench to feature for 23 minutes for the world champions at Wembley and played the final seven minutes of Die Mannschaft's 2-2 draw away at France at right-back.

In England's second game at home to Brazil, Gomez was named Man of the Match for his excellent performance in another goalless draw.

The 20-year-old lasted the full match and did his hopes of further senior appearances no harm with a handful of interceptions and well-timed tackles as Gareth Southgate's shackled a strong Brazil attack including Neymar and Philippe Coutinho.

Coutinho overcame a groin injury to play for 68 minutes against the Three Lions, drawing a save from Joe Hart in the second half, while Solanke became another Liverpool debutant for England in the final 15 minutes.

The 20-year-old, who has yet to start a game for the Reds, could even have capped off his debut with a winning goal late on but mis-controlled and failed to get a shot away.

Roberto Firmino was introduced for Manchester City striker Gabriel Jesus with a quarter-of-an-hour to go but had little impact on what was an admittedly dull and uneventful affair.

Moreno returns for Spain while Woodburn makes first Wales start

Otherwise, 18-year-old Wales forward Ben Woodburn featured in both of the Dragons' clashes with France and Panama - losing 2-0 and drawing 1-1 - and made his first start in the latter.

Goalkeeper Danny Ward played the full game against Panama but could not mark his fourth Wales appearance with a clean sheet, conceding in the 93rd minute. 

Georginio Wijnaldum and Andrew Robertson went head-to-head as the Netherlands beat Scotland 1-0 in a friendly, but the Dutch midfielder missed his nation's 3-0 win over Romania.

Alberto Moreno returned to Spain duty for the first time since signing for Liverpool in 2014, playing the second half of a 3-3 draw with Russia in a friendly in St. Petersburg.

Divock Origi - currently on loan at Wolfsburg - came off the bench for both of Belgium's games, a 3-3 draw with Mexico and a 1-0 win against Japan - with Simon Mignolet keeping a shut-out in the latter.

Marko Grujić played 90 minutes for Serbia - his first senior display since June 2016 - in a 1-1 draw with South Korea and played the full 90 minutes for his country, who will be one of the 32 teams in Russia next summer.