International harsh red card for Newcastle United star ‘proved decisive’
Easy to forget that with everything that has happened off the pitch in recent days, there have actually been Newcastle United players playing some football.
More by chance than design seemingly, the Newcastle United takeover has coincided with an international break, allowing the new owners a little bit of bonus time before they watch their first game in charge.
Miguel Almiron helping Paraguay to an excellent goalless draw in their World Cup group qualifier the other day, then on Saturday there were five Newcastle players hoping to get time on the pitch in their World Cup group qualifying matches.
Switzerland 2 Northern Ireland 0
It was Jamal Lewis making the headlines as he was red carded in the 37th minute. Players and coaching staff watching in disbelief when the Newcastle player received a second yellow, this one for supposed timewasting. Replays showed that the ball was out of play for 23 seconds when the referee amazingly decided that was enough to send Lewis off.
Switzerland going on to score in the fourth minute of first half added time and the first minute of added time after the 90 minutes were up.
Former Northern Ireland international Gareth McAuley saying about the decision:
“There’s only one place to start — the decision by referee Slavko Vincic to send off Jamal Lewis. It was very, very, very harsh and I strongly believe the official was sucked in to making a poor call by the Switzerland fans. It proved to be the decisive moment.”
Lewis now misses the Northern Ireland game on Tuesday against Bulgaria.
A happier night for Fabian Schar, he came on for Switzerland in the 53rd minute when they were 1-0 up and helped see them through to that final 2-0 scoreline. Switzerland looking certain to finish at least second in the group and potentially top, as they are three points behind Italy with a game in hand, Northern Ireland now look out of it, six points behind Switzerland with three games to play.
Azerbaijan 0 Republic of Ireland 3
Jeff Hendrick played the full game as the Republic of Ireland won easily. After 12 competitive games without a win, a massive relief.
However, their hopes of being at the 2022 Qatar World Cup ended long ago.
Scotland 3 Israel 2
A massive win for Scotland, having been 1-0 and 2-1 down, winning it in injury time with a McTominay goal.
Denmark are easily winning the group but Scotland look set for runners up and a play-off for Qatar 2022. They are seven points behind Denmark but now four points ahead of third placed Israel with three games to play.
Newcastle’s Ryan Fraser watched the entire match from the bench.
Sweden 3 Kosovo 0
A rare 90 minutes for Emil Krafth, as he helped his country to an easy win and clean sheet.
Sweden are in a great position in Group B, with three games to play they are only a point behind leaders Spain and have a game in hand.
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