Gotze Shines on Return, Sokratis’ Greece Fail to Qualify for Russia 2018 and Other Talking Points from the International Break

Gotze Shines on Return, Sokratis’ Greece Fail to Qualify for Russia 2018 and Other Talking Points from the International Break

Fourteen Borussia Dortmund players were on International Duty this week.

Here are the major Talking Points from the recently concluded International Break-

Gotze Shines on Return

Mario Gotze, who had not received a call-up for over a year, was an unused substitute against England. The attacker, who had been out for over six months owing to a rare Metabolic disorder, played for about half an hour against France, replacing Ilkay Gundogan in the 65th minute. And he saved his side, the reigning World champions, from embarrassment as he set up Lars Stindl’s last-gasp equaliser in the 2-2 draw in Cologne.

Bartra and Yarmolenko Superb

Marc Bartra played the second half in the 5-0 thrashing of Costa Rica in Malaga on Sunday and assisted Iniesta’s goal and his side’s fifth goal in the 73rd minute, with a beautiful pass. The defender, however, was an unused substitute in the 3-3 draw with World Cup 2018 hosts Russia, getting a much-needed rest ahead of a gruelling club schedule after the break ends.

Andriy Yarmolenko, on duty with Ukraine, scored the equaliser against Slovakia, which began a fightback as the Ukrainians went on to win the match 2-1 in Lviv on Friday.

Burki and Sokratis have Contrasting Results in Qualifiers

Roman Burki’s Switzerland faced Northern Ireland over two legs in their World Cup Qualifier, with the Swiss managing to qualify for World Cup 2018 with an aggregate score of 1-0, which they managed with a first-leg win at Windsor Park, Belfast.

Sokratis, on the other hand, saw his side suffer a 4-1 defeat to Croatia in the first leg, with the second leg ending in a goalless draw. The defender scored his side’s sole goal- a thumping header off Konstantinos Fortounis’ cross, but goals from Luka Modric, Andrej Kramaric, Nikola Kalinic and Ivan Perisic condemned the Greeks to a heavy defeat in Zagreb.

Eye-Catching Youngsters

Jadon Sancho made an effortless transition from U17’s to U19’s as he scored a headed winner in his side’s 1-0 win over Bulgaria U’19s. The highly-rated attacker, signed from Manchester City in the summer, won the U17 World Cup in India last month, and received his first call-up for the U19’s and didn’t disappoint at all.

Mahmoud Dahoud was called up by the Germany U21’s played for 42 minutes in his side’s 7-0 thrashing of Azerbaijan U21’s, and scored his side’s first goal in the 5-2 win over Israel U21’s, playing the full 90 minutes of the second match.

Jacob Bruun Larsen, on duty with Denmark U21’s, saw his side suffer a 3-1 defeat at the hands of Poland U21’s in the First Round of World Cup Qualifiers.

Dan Axel Zagadou, France U19’s skipper, however, had a night to forget as he conceded a penalty in the 2-1 win over Bosnia and Herzegovina but was relieved to see the spot-kick saved by Alban Lafont.