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Crystal Palace (A) Sat 31 Jan 2015, 15:00, Barclays Premier League

Jela Heading To Brazil

by Adam Clark @efc_adamclark

Nikica Jelavic became the latest Everton player to qualify for the 2014 World Cup on Tuesday as he helped 10-man Croatia to a 2-0 aggregate play-off win against Iceland.

There was also a bittersweet pre-derby boost for Kevin Mirallas as he scored in Belgium's 3-2 friendly defeat against Japan - a contest which saw striker Romelu Lukaku play for 75 minutes.

Meanwhile, Phil Jagielka and Ross Barkley ran out as England lost 1-0 to Germany at Wembley, while there was also international action for Tim Howard, James McCarthy, Bryan Oviedo and Steven Naismith.

Jelavic's Croatia went into their second leg against minnows Iceland having drawn 0-0 away from home and made a vital step towards Brazil when Mario Mandzukic netted on 27 minutes.

The Bayern Munich forward then saw red just 11 minutes later, but a goal from Darijo Srna shortly after the break was enough to calm frayed Croatian nerves.

Kevin Mirallas

Jelavic was introduced from the bench for the final 10 minutes and helped his nation forget the pain of failing to qualify four years ago and reach what will be a fourth finals in their history.

In Belgium, Mirallas played the full 90 minutes and fired his side into an early lead, only to see three goals shipped before Atletico Madrid's Toby Alderweireld reduced the deficit again late on.

At Wembley, Jagielka was Everton's only starter as Leighton Baines remained an unused substitute.

His club teammate could do little to stop Per Mertesacker heading the only goal of the game six minutes before half-time and the 31-year-old could be satisfied with his evening's workout alongside a new central defensive partner in Manchester United's Chris Smalling.

Teenager Barkley came on to pick up his third senior cap with 20 minutes to go and looked bright, setting up an opportunity Smalling would ultimately fluff with a swirling back-post cross.

Elsewhere, Howard was between the sticks as USA lost 1-0 in Austria, while Naismith played all but the dying seconds of Scotland's win by the same scoreline in Norway.

Phil Jagielka holds off Germany's Max Kruse.

McCarthy played 62 minutes as Martin O'Neill's Republic of Ireland battled out a goalless friendly draw in Poland, a game for which Seamus Coleman was only on the bench.

Earlier in the day, Bryan Oviedo's Costa Rica had been condemned to a 1-0 friendly defeat by Australia, with former Blues midfielder Tim Cahill grabbing the game's only goal to become his country's joint all-time leading scorer.

Finally, John Stones played 62 minutes and saw a header cleared off the line as England Under-21s thrashed San Marino 9-0, while Republic of Ireland's Shane Duffy and Apostolos Vellios of Greece appeared in a goalless draw against Montenegro and a 3-1 defeat in Poland respectively.

On Monday, Gerard Deulofeu scored as Spain Under-21s defeated Albania 2-0.

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