Newcastle United internationals finally return home – Mixed fortunes on Wednesday night
The final Newcastle United internationals are on their way home.
Wednesday night seeing the final World Cup qualifiers played out from the September international break.
I know it feels like it every time but this international break has felt like an eternity.
Absolutely crazy that the Premier League kicks off and only two weeks later stops for these never ending internationals, so many of them pointless, then repeat again in October and November, before the luxury of having a whole four months before then the usual March break.
Last night there were three Newcastle United internationals named in their national matchday squads.
Emil Krafth missed the 2-1 friendly win over Uzbekistan due to his partner giving birth imminently, no news on whether the baby has arrived yet but the Newcastle defender was back in the Sweden squad.
Sweden went 2-0 down on 74 minutes and Krafth was brought on for the final 14 minutes in the 76th minute, on 80 minutes they narrowed the gap to 2-1 but couldn’t get an equaliser. With eight games for each country to play in total, Spain are currently top with 13 points from six games, Sweden nine points from four, then Greece six points from four. Still in a great position, a win though for Sweden last night would have put them eight points clear of third and all but guaranteed to be top two, with a brilliant chance as well of topping the group as they would have been only a point behind Spain with two games in hand.
Over in Belfast, Jamal Lewis and Fabian Schar were in competition, although the Swiss defender watched the whole match from the bench.
Northern Ireland battled well and came out with a goalless draw, despite Switzerland having 75% possession and the home side not having a single shot on target. Peack-Farrell was the key man as he saved a first half penalty from Seferovic.
Jamal Lewis playing his part in a backs to the wall back five, in his usual left wing-back position playing the full match.
Italy look set to win the group and Northern Ireland have an outside chance of runners up, probably needing to pull off an unlikely looking win in Switzerland in October when they play their next match.
Full schedule of international matches in September involving Newcastle United players. The majority of the games are World Cup qualifiers, plus a few friendlies.
Wednesday 1 September
Denmark 2 Scotland 0
Comfortable win for Denmark in this World Cup qualifier but having a decent game, Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser struck a very good low left foot shot with 10 minutes to go, which produced a World class save from Kasper Schmeichel.
Portugal 2 Republic of Ireland 1
A dramatic night with Jeff Hendrick at the heart of it in this World Cup qualifier.
The Newcastle player bringing down Man Utd’s Fernandes to give Cristiano Ronaldo the chance to make history, with what would be his 110th international goal, a new World record in international football. However, the penalty brilliantly saved by the Irish keeper Bazunu.
Ireland took a shock lead on the stroke of half-time through Egan but left gutted as Cristiano Ronaldo produced superb headers in the 89th and 96th minutes to win the game for Portugal and now put him on 111 international goals, two more than anybody else has ever achieved.
Switzerland 2 Greece 1
A full 90 minutes for Newcastle’s Fabian Schar as Switzerland won the friendly, their first match since exiting the Euros against England.
Thursday 2 September
Sweden 2 Spain 1
A massive win in this World Cup qualifier sees Sweden now top the group, two points clear of Spain and with a game in hand. Emil Krafth making only his second competitive start for Sweden in over three years and they restricted Spain to only four shots on target. It was also a bit of history made as Sweden hadn’t lost in 66 World Cup qualifiers since 1993.
Lithuania 1 Northern Ireland 4
A very welcome 90 minutes for Newcastle’s Jamal Lewis who impressed going forward from his left wing-back position. An emphatic 4-1 away win in this World Cup qualifier reviving some hope of qualification, a massive game awaits next Wednesday against Fabian Schar and Switzerland.
Saturday 4 September
Scotland 1 Moldova 0
An essential win for Scotland to keep alive qualification hopes, a Lyndon Dykes goal on 14 minutes enough to beat bottom of the group Moldova. Newcastle United’s Ryan Fraser left on the bench for the entirety of this World Cup qualifier.
Republic of Ireland 1 Azerbaijan 1
Trailing 1-0 to a first half Azerbaijan goal, the 87th minute goal by Shane Duffy saw the Irish rescue a point, to avoid total humiliation, Newcastle United’s Jeff Hendrick was an unused sub.
Sunday 5 September
Sweden 2 Uzbekistan 1
A 2-1 friendly win for Sweden but no Emil Krafth in the starting eleven, nor on the bench. No news on any injury issues as yet.
Switzerland 0 Italy 0
Newcastle United’s Fabian Schar was left on the bench throughout this World Cup qualifier. Switzerland changing to a back four and picking up an excellent result, though they needed a penalty save by Yann Sommer from Jorginho to keep it goalless.
Estonia 0 Northern Ireland 1
Jamal Lewis played the first 56 minutes of this friendly before being replaced by former Newcastle left sided player Shane Ferguson. Ferguson it was who scored the winner on 75 minutes and Lewis may find his position under some pressure now.
Tuesday 7 September
Austria 0 Scotland 1
Ryan Fraser missed this World Cup qualifier through injury, pictured on crutches and wearing a protective boot. His international teammates though putting Scotland second in the group after this excellent away win.
Republic of Ireland 1 Serbia 1
Ireland indebted to their 19 year old keeper for preventing a hammering, Jeff Hendrick playing the first 78 minutes of this World Cup qualifier and having one of the only two Irish efforts on target with a free-kick. After Hendrick’s departure, Ireland seeing Serbia score an 86th minute own goal for a lucky point.
Wednesday 8 September
Greece 2 Sweden 1
Emil Krafth a 76th minute sub as Sweden remain second in their group after this latest World Cup qualifier
Northern Ireland 0 Switzerland 0
Jamal Lewis played the full game in a battling performance for Northern Ireland, as Fabian Schar watched the whole match from the bench.
A credible result for Lewis and his teammates in this World Cup qualifier but they look to need a win in Switzerland on 9 October if to have any real chance of beating the Swiss to runners up place in the group.
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