Miguel Almiron allays Newcastle fears with dynamic display in dramatic win over Venezuela
On Thursday Miguel Almiron was carried from the pitch in the 97th minute of a 2-2 draw.
With fears for both Paraguay and Newcastle United that the attacking midfielder had suffered a muscle injury.
However, on Tuesday night (early hours of Wednesday morning in the UK) Miguel Almiron allayed those fears.
The Newcastle star putting in a dynamic performance in this world cup qualifier away against Venezuela in Merida.
Almiron won a series of free-kicks with his non-stop running as he drove his team forward, a fiercely contested game with Paraguay having 67% of possession.
Both teams had hit the woodwork but with the game looking as though it would be goalless as it entered the final stages, there would be a drama filled ending.
Just after Miguel Almiron was booked for a bad foul, a sweeping move from Paraguay ended with Espinola cutting the ball back from the right into the penalty area and Gimenez produced a quality finish.
Miguel Almiron was then one of two Paraguay players subbed in the 92nd minute before the game exploded into life once again.
A harsh penalty awarded against Paraguay in the 95th minute, only for Silva to produce a stunning save to his left to keep out Herrera’s spot-kick.
Paraguay winning 1-0 against a Venezuela team missing Salomon Rondon who had been stopped from travelling by his club Dalian Pro, with fears over the virus and quarantining.
This gives Almiron and his teammates a great start in World Cup qualifying, now with four points from their opening two matches.
Earlier on Tuesday night, Fabian Schar started his third international match within a week, a thrilling Tuesday night match in Cologne saw Switzerland earn a 3-3 draw with Germany.
Fabian Schar at fault for one of the goals but otherwise a very good performance, only for a second yellow on 93 minutes following a bad challenge on Draxler, seeing the Newcastle defender booked again and red carded. At least he will have a bit of a rest in the November international fortnight.
Meanwhile, over in Rabat, Achraf Lazaar was assuming his usual position. The Newcastle United left-back sitting on the sidelines for a second friendly in a row, this time Morocco drawing 1-1 at home to DR Congo.
NEWCASTLE UNITED INTERNATIONALS – FULL SCHEDULE
Wednesday 7 October
Switzerland 1 Croatia 2
Fabian Schar played 76 minutes of this friendly and appeared to have no issues with his shoulder before being subbed late on. Schar the sixth Swiss substitution as they then face games against Spain on Saturday and Germany on Tuesday.
Thursday 8 October
Scotland 0 Israel 0 AET (Scotland win 5-3 on penalties)
Ryan Fraser came on in the 84th minute but didn’t take one of the shootout penalties.
Scotland now play away to Serbia on 12 November to decide who qualifies for the 2020 European Championship finals that will take place in June and July 2021.
Slovakia 0 Republic of Ireland 0 AET (Slovakia win 4-2 on penalties)
Jeff Hendrick played the full 120 minutes but didn’t take a shootout penalty as the Republic of Ireland were eliminated after a poor match. Although the visitors did have the best of the chances that were created.
Bosnia and Herzegovina 1 Northern Ireland 1 AET (Northern Ireland win 4-3 on penalties)
Jamal Lewis played the full 120 minutes but didn’t take a shootout penalty as Northern Ireland triumphed. They will now host host Slovakia on 12 November for a place in the Euro finals next summer.
Russia 1 Sweden 2
Emil Krafth started for Sweden today and played the opening 45 minutes before being subbed at the break with Sweden leading 1-0 in Russia. Sweden eventually winning 2-1.
Bosnia and Herzegovina v Northern Ireland (Jamal Lewis) European Championships play-off
Paraguay 2 v Peru 2
An entertaining game and Miguel Almiron in great form, Romero’s two goals earning Paraguay a draw in this World Cup qualifier. The Newcastle player eventually subbed in the seventh minute of injury time, departing on a cart, with hopefully just cramp, although fears it could be a muscle injury (***A later update said that it was a minor injury and Almiron was back training with the squad).
However, the big talking point was a horrific elbow to the face of Almiron in the first half. The Newcastle player’s persistence catching an opponent in possession, his determined run ended on the edge of the box as the last defender launched a horrific assault on Miguel Almiron (watch it HERE), his elbow full to the face and knocking the Paraguayan attacking player to the floor. The Peru defender immediately putting his head in his hands as he realised what he had done, only for the referee to amazingly only give a yellow, to the astonishment of both teams.
Friday 9 October
Morocco 3 Senegal 1
Achraf Lazaar an unused substitute.
Saturday 10 October
Spain 1 Switzerland 0
Fabian Schar played the full 90 minutes in this narrow Nations League defeat.
A good defensive performance that helped restrict Spain to only two efforts on target in the 90 minutes.
Unfortunately, that good work completely outdone by Yann Sommer. The Switzerland keeper attempting a daft short pass which was intercepted by former Newcastle midfielder Mikel Merino and he set up Mikel Oyarzabal for an easy finish in the 14th minute.
Sunday 11 October
Scotland 1 Slovakia 0
Ryan Fraser started the game and played 85 minutes as the second striker, his seventh game for club and country in the past month, as he reaches full fitness.
Scotland are now unbeaten (five wins and two draws) in over a year and the Newcastle star was named man of the match after this latest victory. The win putting them top of their Nations League group.
Republic of Ireland 0 Wales 0
Once again the Republic of Ireland struggled to create chances, only two on target all night.
A decent game for Jeff Hendrick who worked hard but effectively two teams cancelling each other out in this goalless draw. After 90 minutes on Sunday and 120 minutes on Thursday, interesting to see if Hendrick is given a rest on Wednesday ahead of Newcastle United meeting Man Utd on Saturday night.
Croatia 2 Sweden 1
Emil Krafth remained on the bench for this Nations League defeat.
Northern Ireland 0 Austria 1
A case of after the Lord Mayor’s show for Newcastle’s Jamal Lewis and his Northern Ireland teammates.
Only one effort on target for the team in the 90 minutes as they clearly were feeling the effects of that dramatic penalty shootout win in Sarajevo that took them to that final play-off on 12 November against Slovakia, for a place in the 2020 Euro finals next summer.
Just like Hendrick above, after 90 minutes on Sunday and 120 minutes on Thursday, interesting to see if Jamal Lewis is given a rest on Wednesday ahead of Newcastle United meeting Man Utd on Saturday night.
Tuesday 13 October
Morocco 1 DR Congo 1
Achraf Lazaar once again an unused substitute despite this being another friendly.
Germany 3 Switzerland 3
A busy night for Fabian Schar.
A six goal thriller seeing Switzerland earn a credible point in Cologne.
However, the action didn’t stop there for the NUFC centre-back. Booked in the first-half, in the 93rd minute a poor challenge on Draxler saw Schar receive a second yellow and then red card. At least he will have a bit of a rest in the November international fortnight, after three international starts in this past week.
Venezuela 0 Paraguay 1
A very good display from Miguel Almiron as his non-stop running with the ball saw Venezuela repeatedly foul the Newcastle player, giving Paraguay a succession of free-kicks throughout the match.
Paraguay winning through an 85th minute goal from Giminez and then a dramatic penalty save by the visiting keeper in the 95th minute.
Wednesday 14 October
Scotland v Czech Republic (Ryan Fraser) Nations League
Finland v Republic of Ireland (Jeff Hendrick) Nations League
Portugal v Sweden (Emil Krafth) Nations League
Norway v Northern Ireland (Jamal Lewis) Nations League
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