Yevhen Konoplyanka bags twice against Albania
Three Royal Blues were in international action on Sunday: Yevhen Konoplyanka, Breel Embolo and Marko Pjaca, with a draw, a win and a defeat respectively. schalke04.de brings you the full round-up.
Konoplyanka brace in convincing victory
Yevhen Konoplyanka stole the show once again in Ukraine’s last international friendly before the summer break. Schalke’s 28-year-old, the best player on the pitch, scored twice in a 4-1 win for his country against Albania. The attacking midfielder opened the scoring after half an hour and put the cherry on the cake with the final goal of the game just seconds before full time. The other two Ukraine goals were scored by Andriy Yarmolenko in the 36th and 45th minutes. Emanuele Ndoj scored Albania’s consolation goal two minutes before the end of regulation time.
Breel Embolo put in an impressive performance for Switzerland against fellow World Cup participants Spain. The Schalke striker was brought on for the second half of a 1-1 draw in Villarreal, and noticeably reinvigorated the Swiss attack. After Alcaro Odriozola put the Spaniards ahead on 29 minutes, Ricardo Rodriguez equalised with a tap-in just over an hour into the game. In the build up to the former Wolfsburg man’s goal, Breel Embolo played a clever little pass through to Stephan Lichtsteiner, whose shot could only be parried into the path of Rodriguez by David de Gea.
Switzerland will play their final friendly before departing for Russia on Friday the 8th June at 19:00 CEST against Japan, who will be joining them at the World Cup finals the following week.
Pjaca on as a sub
Croatia’s national team were beaten 2-0 by Brazil in their penultimate pre-tournament friendly, with Marko Pjaca, who will return to Juventus as of the 1st July, brought on in the 64th minute for Frankfurt’s Ante Rebic. The goal scorers for the record World Champions were Neymar (69’) and Roberto Firmino (90’+4).
The Croatians have their next test against Senegal and Salif Sané on Friday – the African side are also heading for Russia with Pjaca and Co.