VfL Wolfsburg-Spieler Xaver Schlager im Spiel der Nationalmannschaft.
01.04.2021
First Team

Internationals done and dusted

Germany reach U21 EURO quarter-finals; mixed fortunes in World Cup qualifiers.

VfL Wolfsburg-Spieler Xaver Schlager im Spiel der Nationalmannschaft.

The Wolves’ international players are returning to Wolfsburg after an eventful few days with their national teams. Germany’s Under-21s reached the quarter-finals of the U21 EURO and there were plenty of victories for VfL players in World Cup qualifiers, but some of them were also on the end of defeats.

VfL’s focus now turns to Saturday 3 April (kick-off 15:30 CEST), when they face 1. FC Köln in the Bundesliga with the aim of registering another three important points in their bid for European football.

Through to the quarter-finals

Ridle Baku returns to Wolfsburg after helping Germany’s Under-21s navigate their way through the group stage and reach the quarter-finals of the U21 EURO. Victory over Hungary in their opening match was followed by draws with the Netherlands (1-1 on Saturday) and Romania (0-0 on Tuesday), leaving Stefan Kuntz’s side in second place in Group A. Baku continued his impressive club form and started all three matches for Germany, who will play Denmark in the last eight on 31 May.

Mixed fortunes

After registering a win and a draw in their opening two World Cup qualifiers, Austria suffered a bitterly disappointing 4-0 defeat to Denmark on Wednesday. Pavao Pervan was an unused substitute against the Danes, while Xaver Schlager was taken off in the 75th minute after being named in the starting line-up. The result leaves Austria in fourth place in Group F.

Good starts for Belgium and Croatia

Koen Casteels failed to make an appearance for Belgium, who are sitting pretty at the top of World Cup qualifying Group E after beating Wales (3-1) and Belarus (8-0) and drawing with the Czech Republic (1-1). Croatia, meanwhile, are top of Group H after recovering from a 1-0 defeat in Slovenia with back-to-back wins over Cyprus (1-0) and Malta (3-0). Josip Brekalo appeared in all three matches, starting Saturday’s win over Cyprus before coming off the bench to complete the scoring against Malta on Tuesday.

There were just two games for Switzerland, who occupy second place in Group C following wins over Bulgaria (3-1) and Lithuania (1-0). Kevin Mbabu played the whole 90 minutes in Sofia before being rested for the narrow victory in St Gallen, while Admir Mehmedi was a late substitute in both games.

International friendlies

John Anthony Brooks and Bartosz Bialek were only involved in friendly matches. Centre-back Brooks helped the USA cruise to a 4-1 victory over Jamaica, while Bialek and the Poland Under-21s followed up a 7-0 win against Saudi Arabia with a 2-0 defeat to Austria. The young Wolves striker started both matches, coming off at half-time against the Saudis and being replaced after 65 minutes against Austria.

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