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Chelsea internationals: Willian dominates USA; Diego Costa fails to score, again

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Billie Weiss/Getty Images

As is usually the case with Brazil, even when he doesn't play, Neymar will dominate the headlines.  And he did score twice, in fairness, once he arrived as a half-time substitute.  But while he was sat on the bench — as Dunga prepares to tackle World Cup qualifying with Neymar suspended for the first two matches — Jogo Bonito was run by none other than Willian.  I know! Crazy days.

Perhaps it was that Chelsea's lovable Afro Aficionado only had to face the likes of Tim Ream (of Fulham), Alejandro Bedoya (who was withdrawn after 30 minutes of public humiliation), Jermaine Jones (with whom Klinsmann continues to persist for reasons beyond me), and a generally disjointed back line.  Or perhaps it was that they didn't bother to scout the quick-juke to the right, which Willian loves so.  Or perhaps he was granted more freedom, unshackled from having to play support to either Eden Hazard at club level or Neymar at international level.  Or perhaps he just got a bit more lucky than usual.  Whatever it was, he was in sparkling form throughout the first half, creating Brazil's opener with a storming run and a helpful rebound off the post.

The US completed their crumbling in the second half as Brazil eventually ran out 4-1 winners.  Willian, after 45 minutes of runs, jukes, and seeing-eye passes, was withdrawn at the half for the aforementioned Neymar.

Elsewhere in the Americas, Chelsea new boy Michael Hector helped Jamaica keep a clean sheet against Nicaragua in World Cup qualifying.  With the 2-0 away win, Jamaica (and Hector) made amends for Friday's 4-3 first leg loss and thus advance to the group stages (i.e. 4th round) of CONCACAF's World Cup 2018 qualifying process.

Earlier in the day, Wayne Rooney became the all-time leading goalscorer for the England national team as Gary Cahill and Co stayed a perfect 8-for-8 in Euro 2016 qualifying with a 2-0 win over Switzerland.  The Three Lions were already assured of a spot, but completed yet another professional job.  Also professional:  Spain winning 1-0 over Macedonia thanks to a hilarious own goal from the goalkeeper.  Diego Costa was the only Chelsea player to be involved, and he ... *sad trombone* ... failed to score once again.

"I've got a lot to improve and I've got to start scoring goals. There will be no lack of effort on my part."

"I am always filled with ambition whenever I get called for the national team. On a personal level I am not happy because I didn't manage to score tonight although I'm happy with the victory. We've gained three points which are important for our qualification."

-Diego Costa; source: AS via Mail

Lastly, Kenneth Omeruo collected yet another cap for Nigeria in a 2-0 friendly win over Niger — coach Sunday Oliseh opening the door afterwards for both Mikel and Moses to be recalled for future matches — and young Nathan Aké played the full game as Netherlands U21 did something their senior side couldn't do earlier, and beat Turkey.

This concludes the FIFA-mandated first international break of 2015-16.  Back to the anxiety and the excitement of proper football.