The recent international break saw no less than ten Borussia Dortmund players in action for their countries. While some were unable to play for various reasons – namely Shinji Kagawa, Christian Pulisic and Andriy Yarmolenko – others were more fortunate to be able to pull on their national colours. Jadon Sancho was included in the England under-19 set up after impressing for the BVB first team and the England under-17s, while Manuel Akanji and Alexander Isak were also looking to make an impact upon stepping up to their international senior teams. Let’s see how our boys fared while they’ve been away.
Mahmoud Dahoud (Germany under-21s)
Mahmoud Dahoud was able to play vital roles in Germany under-21s games against their counterparts from Israel and Kosovo respectively. In the 3-0 over Israel, Dahoud was replaced in the 75th minute by Florian Neuhaus while he managed to play the whole 90 minutes against Kosovo. Dahoud will be hoping his performance for the junior side will be enough to see him gain his first full international cap in the not too distant future.
Lukasz Piszczek (Poland)
Lukasz Piszczek earned another two caps while playing for Poland over the past couple of days but all didn’t go to plan. He was taken off at half-time during the 1-0 defeat at the hands of Nigeria, which won’t have gone down well with the Polish media. However, the Poles were much more successful in their next outing, beating Korea Republic 3-2 with Piszczek again being taken off at the interval. While he won’t be happy to have only played bit parts here, Dortmund fans will be much more relieved to the have the experienced right back home unscathed considering the recent speight of injuries.
Manuel Akanji and Roman Burki (Switzerland)
Switzerland were able to pull off two wins out of two over Greece and Panama respectively. The 1-0 away win over Greece marked the appearance of Manuel Akanji, who play the whole game, while Yann Sommer was preferred over Roman Burki. However, the goalkeeper would play 90 minutes in the 6-0 home win over Panama. Akanji was named on the bench and was an unused substitute.
Raphael Guerreiro (Portugal)
Raphael Guerreiro had a mixed time while away with Portugal. He saw out the game against Egypt, which his side won 2-1 thanks to two late, late goals from Cristiano Ronaldo. However, he failed to make it off the bench during their 3-0 defeat at the hands of Holland. Guerreiro will be hoping the two shaky performances were not a sign of things to come ahead of the World Cup, as Portugal look to build on their Euro 2016 win with a good showing in Russia.
Michy Batshuayi (Belgium)
With just one game for Belgium over the international period, Michy Batshuayi would have to work hard to get his chance. When it came he certainly did take it. Coming on as a 59th-minute replacement for Eden Hazard, Batshuayi continued his hot streak by netting Belgium’s third in a 4-0 victory over Saudi Arabia in the 77th minute. His goal will have done his chances of making the plane for Russia no harm, as will his current form for BVB.
Sergio Gomez (Spain under-19s)
Sergio Gomez played the most amount of the games over the past week, being involved in three matches for Spain’s under-19’s. He came on as a 57th-minute substitute during his country’s 0-0 draw with Bulgaria and wasn’t involved at all during the 3-0 win over Belgium. He did play during the 4-2 defeat to France though, a result the youngster surely won’t be happy with.
Alexander Isak (Sweden)
Alex Isak was called up to the Sweden squad for their games against Chile and Romania. However, he didn’t feature or even make the squad for either game. Just as well for the 18-year-old as his side were beaten on both occasions, 2-1 by Chile and 1-0 by Romania.
Sokratis Papastathopoulos (Greece)
As mentioned already, Sokratis didn’t have the best time with the Greek national side during their games. He was involved for the full game during his side’s 1-0 defeat thanks to Switzerland, but was unable to take any credit for the 1-0 win over Egypt as he didn’t even make the matchday squad. Sokratis will be hoping his side can take heart from the Egypt win and carry that into the Euro 2020 qualifiers, which start in September.
Jadon Sancho (England under-19s)
Jadon Sancho’s discipline has once again been called into question during this international break. Sancho was dropped by the under-19s, for turning up late to training one too many times, for their 3-0 victory over Latvia, then appearing in their defeat in Macedonia. It is a setback for the promising winger, who missed several training sessions at Manchester City before moving to Westphalia in the summer.