Three wins and one draw for S04 players on international duty

Five Royal Blues were in action or their country on Friday (22nd March): Darko Churlinov (North Macedonia), Blendi Idrizi (Kosovo), Keke Topp and Yusuf Kabadayi (both Germany U20) and Ibrahima Cissé (Mali U23). These games resulted in three wins and one draw. Here is a summary of the five players’ matches.

63 minutes for Churlinov

Darko Churlinov’s North Macedonia just missed out on a win against Moldova. The friendly in Aksu, Turkey finished 1-1. The winger started the match and played 63 minutes. Aberdeen forward Bojan Miovski scored the opener for North Macedonia in injury time at the end of the first half. Vitalie Damascan of FC Stade Lausanne Ouchy equalised eight minutes from time.

On Monday (25th March), Churlinov’s side face Montenegro in another friendly in Aksu.

A narrow victory for Idrizi

Blendi Idrizi came on as a 69th-minute substitute for Kosovo in their 1-0 win in Armenia. Former Werder Bremen attacker Milot Rashica, who now plies his trade for Besiktas, scored the winning goal in the 25th minute.

Idrizi’s second match of the international break will be against Hungary. Kosovo take on Germany’s EURO 2024 group stage opponents in Budapest on Tuesday, 26th March.

Topp and Kabadayi’s Germany U20 beat France

Germany U20s beat France 3-1 with Keke Topp in the starting line-up. The forward was taken off in a triple substitution which saw Yusuf Kabadayi come on the 74th minute. Kabadayi went on to play the remainder of the match. SV Elversberg midfielder Paul Wanner (12’), Holstein Kiel’s Tom Rothe (34’) and Frans Krätzig of Austria Wien (58’) all scored for Germany. SM Caen’s Noe Lebreton got one back for ‘Les Bleus’ in the 68th minute.

The two teams will face each other again on Monday (25th March). Just like the previous meeting, the match will take place in the Spanish city of Valencia.

Cissé plays an hour of Mali’s win in Japan

Ibrahima Cissé and the Mali U23s qualified for the 2024 Olympic Games by virtue of their third-placed finish at the Africa Cup of Nations. As part of their preparations for the tournament, which will take place in Paris in July and August of this year, the West African side played a friendly game in Japan.

Schalke’s centre-back started in the 3-1 friendly win against Japan in Kameoka and came off in the 59th minute of the game. The hosts took an early lead through FC Machida Zelvia’s Yu Hirakawa, before goals from TSV Hartberg’s Mamadaou Sangare (34’), Mamadou Tounkara of Vitoria Guimaraes (53’) and Wolverhampton Wanderers midfielder Boubacar Traoré (90’) turned the game around for the West Africans.