Minimal World Cup qualifier action and mixed results for Newcastle United international trio
The Newcastle United international involvement continued on Thursday night.
However, the times on the pitch from this NUFC trio was minimal.
Emil Krafth, Ryan Fraser and Jamal Lewis had all been possibilities to play for their countries in World Cup qualifying group matches.
In the event, from a Newcastle United perspective it was Emil Krafth who provided the relative, if very minimal, NUFC highlight.
The United right-back took his usual place on the bench for Sweden, having started only three times for his country these past two and a half years.
With Sweden leading 1-0 through a 35th minutes Claesson goal, Emil Krafth got the last six minutes with that one goal giving the NUFC man and his teammates all three points.
Meanwhile, in Glasgow, an entertaining second-half saw Scotland share four goals with Austria.
The Scots doing well to come back twice, former Newcastle centre-back Grant Hanley heading the first equaliser, then with five minutes to go Villa’s John McGinn produced an excellent overhead kick to rescue a point.
For Ryan Fraser however, he spent the entire match watching from the subs bench.
Over in Parma, Northern Ireland produced a promising second-half but Italy had already won the match after controlling the opening 45 minutes and scoring twice.
Newcastle United’s Jamal Lewis was ruled out of the matchday squad with a groin injury and must be a worry now ahead of the Newcastle v Tottenham match in nine days time. Paul Dummett has played the last three games ahead of Lewis but the Geordie defender has an appalling injury / fitness record in recent years, so always a worry if no obvious alternative in case Dummett breaks down yet again.
Newcastle United internationals:
Wednesday 24 March
Serbia 3 Republic of Ireland 2 – World Cup Qualifier
A bit of a disaster for Newcastle pair Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick and their teammates.
Ireland taking the lead having not scored in the previous seven matches.
Ciaran Clark partly at fault for the equaliser and then easily beaten in the air by Mitro for the winning goal. Meanwhile, Jeff Hendrick left out of the team in favour of a couple of Preston midfielders, the Newcastle midfielder introduced at 1-1 on 61 minutes, within 14 minutes Serbia leading 3-1.
Cyprus 0 Slovakia 0 – World Cup Qualifier
A clean sheet away in Cyprus for Martin Dubravka, returning to the Slovakian team for his first match in 16 months since 19 November 2019.
Remaining Newcastle United internationals this month:
Thursday 25 March
Italy 2 Northern Ireland 0 – World Cup Qualifier
Italy took control with two first-half goals but a spirited display after the break gives Northern Ireland hope for their World Cup qualifying campaign.
Jamal Lewis hadn’t been able to train during the week and was ruled out of last night’s squad with a groin injury. He must be an injury worry now ahead of Newcastle v Tottenham in nine days time.
Scotland 2 Austria 2 – World Cup Qualifier
Former Newcastle defender Grant Hanley scored as the Scots shared four second-half goals.
However, Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser watched the entire match from the subs bench.
Sweden 1 Georgia 0 – World Cup Qualifier
Emil Krafth took his usual place on the bench for Sweden, having started only three times for his country these past two and a half years.
With Sweden leading 1-0, Emil Krafth got the last six minutes with that one goal giving the NUFC man and his teammates all three points.
Saturday 27 March
Republic of Ireland v Luxembourg – World Cup Qualifier
Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick
Slovakia v Malta – World Cup Qualifier
Sunday 28 March
Northern Ireland v USA – Friendly
Israel v Scotland – World Cup Qualifier
Kosovo v Sweden – World Cup Qualifier
Tuesday 30 March
Qatar v Republic of Ireland – Friendly
Ciaran Clark and Jeff Hendrick
Slovakia v Russia – World Cup Qualifier
Wednesday 31 March
Northern Ireland v Bulgaria – World Cup Qualifier
Scotland v Faroe Islands – World Cup Qualifier
Sweden v Estonia – Friendly
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