Six points, but no minutes for S04 players in the Nations League

There were two wins and two defeats for Schalke’s group of players (Blendi Idrizi, Marius Lode, Darko Churlinov and Martin Fraisl) in action on the second matchday of the Nations League. Ko Itakura was narrowly beaten by Brazil with Japan. Here is a round-up of all internationals involving our boys.

Marius Lode

Blendi Idrizi doesn’t feature in defeat

After kicking off their Nations League campaign with a 2-0 win over Cyprus, Kosovo lost 1-0 at home to Greece on Sunday (5/6). Anastasios Bakasetas scored the only goal of the game in the 36th minute for the visitors, who are top of the group with six points from six. Blendi Idrizi was an unused substitute in Pristina. Kosovo are next in action on Thursday at home to Northern Ireland (9/6).

Two wins from two for Marius Lode and Norway

Norway have made a perfect start to the 2022/23 Nations League. Stale Solbakken’s side won their second game 2-1 in Sweden (5/6). Erling Haaland got both their goals (20’ & 69’), whilst Anthony Elanga got a Swedish consolation in injury time. Marius Lode didn’t feature in Solna, but will be hoping to get some minutes on Thursday against Slovenia (9/6).

First win for Darko Churlinov’s North Macedonia

North Macedonia were comfortable winners in Gibraltar on Sunday (5/6). Enis Bardhi (21’) and Boban Nikolov (84’) were on the scoresheet in a 2-0 win. Darko Churlinov didn’t play after starting three days earlier. Their next fixture is against Georgia on Thursday (9/6), the side top of the group with six points ahead of North Macedonia on four.

Defeats for Austria and Japan

Martin Fraisl and Ko Itakura, who will both depart the club once their contracts expire at the end of the month, each suffered defeats on Monday (6/6). Fraisl watched from the bench as his Austria team lost in the Nations League to Denmark, in a game which was delayed by 90 minutes due to a power cut. Pierre-Emile Höjbjerg (27’) and Jens Stryger Larsen (84’) found the net in a 2-1 win – Xaver Schlager had actually equalised at one stage for Austria (67’).

Ko Itakura played the full 90 minutes against Brazil in the Kirin Challenge Cup for Japan. The South Americans won 1-0 thanks to a Neymar penalty (77’).