Several Albion stars on duty
ALBION'S internationals have had a busy week of it. Here’s our nation by nation guide to how they all fared.
Saido Berahino played a major part as England progressed to the finals of the European Championships, to be held in the Czech Republic next year. Saido made one and scored one as England’s under-21s came from a goal down to beat Croatia 2-1 at Molineux in the first leg of their play-off game last Friday. He then struck the post as England repeated the scoreline in Tuesday's away leg to progress 4-2 on aggregate.
Gareth McAuley had reason to enjoy the international break, winning his 50th cap for his country as they won 2-0 in Greece on Tuesday. He’d earlier marked his 49th international appearance by getting on the scoresheet as they beat the Faroe Islands 2-0 at Windsor Park on Saturday, his goal set up by Chris Baird. McAuley was substituted after 56 minutes in that game, Baird playing the full 90, just as he did against Greece. Northern Ireland top Group F with nine points from three games.
James Morrison played the full 90 minutes in both games for Scotland as they beat Georgia 1-0 at Ibrox on Saturday, then drew 2-2 with Poland in Warsaw on Tuesday. Graham Dorrans was an unused substitute for Gordon Strachan’s team in the game against Georgia. Scotland are fourth in Group D.
Sebastien Pocognoli made his return to the Belgian national team on Friday, coming on as a substitute in the 56th minute of their 6-0 win over Andorra in Brussels. He was then on the bench for the 1-1 draw in Bosnia-Herzegovina on Monday. Belgium are third in Group B with four points from two games.
Georgios Samaras was an 81st minute substitute for Greece as they fought out a 1-1 draw with Finland in Helsinki last Saturday. He started their 2-0 defeat to Northern Ireland on Tuesday, playing 67 minutes of the game. Greece are now fifth in Group F.
Youssouf Mulumbu captained DR Congo as they lost 2-1 at home to Ivory Coast in Kinshasa. Youssouf was substituted in the 76th minute. The Albion midfielder then captained his side to a 4-3 away victory against the same opponents on Wednesday. DR Congo now sit second in the group.
Ben Foster was on the bench for England’s 5-0 win over San Marino at Wembley last Thursday and repeated that role during the 1-0 win in Estonia on Sunday. England have a 100% record from three games and top Group E.
Jonas Olsson was an unused substitute for both of Sweden’s games, their 1-1 draw with Russia on Thursday and the 2-0 win over Liechtenstein on Sunday, both games taking place in Solna. Sweden are currently third in Group G.
Jason Davidson was in the starting XI for Australia in the 0-0 friendly draw with the UAE in Abu Dhabi. He was one of a string of players to be substituted amid sweltering heat and humidity in the second half. Jason was then on the bench for the 1-0 friendly defeat to Qatar in Doha.
Cristian Gamboa had a successful international break, starting both friendlies as Costa Rica beat Oman 4-3 in Muscat last Friday and then won 3-1 against South Korea in Seoul on Tuesday.
Albion were well represented in Ireland’s Under 19s team last week. Shaun Donnellan started in their 1-0 friendly win over Sweden in Sollentuna last Wednesday, Jack Hallahan coming on as a second half substitute. Hallahan then started in the 2-2 draw with the Swedes in Strangna on Friday, a game that Donnellan sat out.