Schöpf fires Austria to win over Germany
Things are certainly going well for Alessandro Schöpf in an Austrian shirt right now. After scoring the winner in last week’s 1-0 win over Russia, the Royal Blue was at it again on Saturday night as he struck the decider against world champions Germany to seal a 2-1 win for his country. Leon Goretzka was bought on for Joachim Löw’s Germany shortly after the break.
Guido Burgstaller was the third Schalke player to get some minutes in Klagenfurt, though the striker only played the final six minutes, a few minutes after Schöpf had left the pitch.
“It’s always nice to win,” said the Royal Blue matchwinner, “and the fact it is against Germany makes it even sweeter.” Germany started the game, which was delayed by an hour and 45 minutes due to heavy rain, far stronger and deservedly went in front through Mesut Özil. “We were a bit too passive in the opening exchanges,” said Schöpf. Austria had got back on level terms shortly after the break through FC Augsburg’s Martin Hinteregger.
“You would still back Germany going into the World Cup,” said Schöpf. “They have some terrific players and will be one of the favourites,” added Schalke’s number 28. Germany will play their final pre-World Cup friendly against Saudi Arabia in Leverkusen on Friday. Austria will meet Brazil next Sunday before Burgstaller and Schöpf head off onto their summer holidays.
Narrow loss for Weston McKennie
Four days after cruising past Bolivia, the USA were back in action against the Republic of Ireland in Dublin. American Royal Blue again started the game in centre midfield and played 81 minutes for the USMNT, but could not prevent a late 2-1 defeat.
Hamburg’s Bobby Wood opened the scoring for the States, but goals from Graham Burke and Alan Jude, the latter coming in injury time, saw Dave Sarachan’s young side taste defeat in Dublin.
Having not qualified for the World Cup, the USA will play their final fixture of the summer against France in Lyon next Sunday.
Nabil Bentaleb take the armband
Nabil Bentaleb was able to celebrate captaining his native Algeria on Friday against Cape Verde, though the Royal Blue was left disappointed after seeing his country lose 3-2 despite taking the lead.
Another side not playing at the World Cup, Algeria will face Portugal in their final friendly of the season on Thursday.