Two wins, two draws, two defeats

Five Schalke players have been in action for their countries in the UEFA Nations League. One other Royal Blue took part in the Kirin Cup, an invitational tournament in Japan. reports on how the six got on.

Darko Churlinov

Churlinov plays the full 90

North Macedonia suffered their first defeat of the current Nations League campaign on Thursday (09/06). Darko Churlinov’s side went down 3-0 at home to Georgia as the Schalke man played the entire game. Budu Zivzivadze (52’), Khvicha Kvaratskhelia (62’) and Otar Kiteishvili (84’) scored for the visitors.

Idrizi an unused sub

Blendi Idrizi watched on from the bench as Kosovo came out on top on Thursday. It was a second win in three for Kosovo as they beat Northern Ireland 3-2. Vedat Muriqi hit two goals (9’, 52’) with Zymer Bytyqi (19’) adding another. Shayne Lavery (44’) and Daniel Ballard (83’) netted for the Irish.

No gametime for Lode, Kaminski or Fraisl

Marius Lode didn’t feature for Norway in their 0-0 draw with Slovenia on Thursday. The hosts failed to win despite enjoying half an hour with a numerical advantage following a red card. Marcin Kaminski was also left on the bench as Poland were well-beaten by Belgium, 6-1. Robert Lewandowski actually put the Poles ahead (28’) before Belgium hit six goals without reply to seal a comfortable Nations League win.

Austria managed an impressive 1-1 draw at home to world champions France on Friday (10/06). Martin Fraisl remained on the bench as the action unfolded. Andi Weimann hit the opener after 37 minutes in Vienna before Kylian Mbappé equalised late on (83’).

Itakura and Japan progress to the final

Also in action on Friday were Japan, who faced Ghana in the Kirin Cup. Ko Itakura was a second-half substitute as the Blue Samurai came out on top, winning 4-1. The goals came from Miki Yamane (29’), Kaoru Mitoma (45’+1), Takefusa Kubo (73’) and Daizen Maeda (82’) with Jordan Ayew (44’) netting what turned out to be a consolation goal for Ghana. That result sees Japan into the final on Tuesday when they will face Tunisia (14/06).

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