Newcastle United star loses out once again to Cristiano Ronaldo – A little less painful this time though
Cristiano Ronaldo and Portugal have now qualified for next summer’s Euros in Germany.
A 3-2 win over Martin Dubravka and Slovakia on Friday night, seeing them now guaranteed to finish top two in Group J, those places giving automatic qualification to the finals.
Slovakia a bit unlucky to lose as they put in a great shift but not quite as painful for the Newcastle United star this time.
Last month, Cristiano Ronaldo should have been red carded for a reckless lunge, that left Martin Dubravka fortunate to escape serious injury (see image above). The referee only giving a yellow, no doubt due to who had committed the ridiculous foul, most other players for sure would have been sent off for doing this.
Cristiano Ronaldo stayed on the pitch that night and Portugal won 1-0 away at Slovakia, this time on Friday night the deciding strike was once again from the former Man U player, the winning goal a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, his second goal of the game.
However, Slovakia and Martin Dubraka still very much in charge of their own destiny with three games left to play as the updated Group J table shows.
A win away at Luxembourg on Monday would all but guarantee Slovakia automatically qualifying for the Euros in Germany next summer, along with Portugal.
Whilst his chances have been all but non-existent for Newcastle United with Nick Pope in such great form, Martin Dubravka has excelled for his country. If you take away these two defeats to Portugal, in his other most recent ten starts for Slovakia, the NUFC keeper has kept eight clean sheets.
Eddie Howe and Newcastle United are lucky to have such a high quality back up keeper.
Schedule of Newcastle United players heading around the globe to play for their countries:
Thursday 12 October
Israel v Switzerland (Fabian Schar) Euros Qualifier ***Now postponed to 15 November, venue TBC
Bruno Guimaraes starting his third game in a row for Brazil and after dominating the game, all looked to be going to plan, Gabriel heading them into the lead on 50 minutes from a Neymar corner. However, after the Newcastle midfielder was subbed off with 11 minutes to go, Bello scoring a brilliant overhead kick to gain Venezuela a shock point in this World Cup group qualifier.
Miguel Almiron lined up as usual for Paraguay in this toughest of World Cup group qualifiers but Lionel Messi on the bench for the opposition.
The Newcastle star and his international teammates showing great workrate and defensive discipline to restrict Argentina to only four efforts on target all night. Unfortunately, the first of those was an excellent Otamendi volley from a corner that gave the home side the winning goal after only three minutes. Paraguay not having the quality at the other end to really bother the World champions, only one shot on target all night. Miguel Almiron eventually subbed on 86 minutes after having given everything for his team, as usual.
England U21s 9 Serbia U21s 1
Serbia going a goal up but England equalising on 38 minutes, then going on to lead 3-1, which was the scoreline when Tino Livramento was introduced from the bench in this Under-21 European Championship qualifier on 52 minutes. England then going on the rampage and scoring six more, as the NUFC star and his international teammates tore Serbia apart.
Romania U20s 2 England U20s 0
Lewis Hall starting for England in this Euro Elite League match.
The visitors dominating the game but failing to take countless chances, paying the price when losing to a couple of suck punches. Romania Under 20s running out 2-0 winners.
Friday 13 October
England 1 Australia 0
Kieran Trippier came on in the 62nd minute and helped England see out this win, Watkins having scored what proved the winner only five minutes earlier.
The crowd only waking up to boo Jordan Henderson as Trippier replaced him though to me quite clearly it was booing of Southgate for continuing to pick Henderson, as he is now playing at a very low level in Saudi Arabia and will be 34 when the Euros kick off in Germany next summer.
Yet another terrible watch as Southgate stumbled to a win over low level opposition, England very lucky as Australia had great chances, hit the post, had an effort cleared off the line and had more shots, more corners and more efforts on target.
Portugal 3 Slovakia 2
Martin Dubravka and his teammates put in a great effort and were unlucky to lose this Euros Group Qualifier.
The deciding strike was a penalty from Cristiano Ronaldo, his second goal of the night.
However, Slovakia and Martin Dubraka still very much in charge of their own destiny with three games left to play. A win away at Luxembourg on Monday would all but guarantee them automatically qualifying for the Euros in Germany next summer, along with Portugal.
Saturday 14 October
Italy v Malta (Sandro Tonali withdrawn from squad) Euros Qualifier
Sunday 15 October
Switzerland v Belarus (Fabian Schar) Euros Qualifier
Monday 16 October
Belgium v Sweden (Alexander Isak now withdrawn from squad due to injury) Euros Qualifier
Luxembourg v Slovakia (Martin Dubravka) Euros Qualifier
Ukraine U21s v England U21s (Tino Livramento) Under-21 European Championship qualifier
Tuesday 17 October
England v Italy (Kieran Trippier (Sandro Tonali withdrawn from squad)) Euros Qualifier
Paraguay v Bolivia (Miguel Almiron) World Cup qualifier
England U20s v Portugal U20s (Lewis Hall) Euro Elite League
Uruguay v Brazil (Bruno) World Cup qualifier
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