Group E: Cerny on target, Kaminski playing catch-up
Vaclav Cerny registered his fifth goal in 13 appearances for Czech Republic, scoring the opener in an eventual 1-1 draw with Albania on Thursday before being taken off after 70 minutes. The 25-year-old also played 20 minutes of Sunday’s 1-1 friendly draw with Hungary.
Cerny’s team remain second in their group behind Albania, who beat Poland 2-0 on Sunday. VfL’s Jakub Kaminski played 62 minutes of that defeat, having lasted 88 minutes of the 2-0 triumph over the Faroe Islands.
Group F: Casteels and Wimmer on brink of qualification
Koen Casteels, Belgium’s new first-choice goalkeeper under head coach Domenico Tedesco, helped the Red Devils record 1-0 and 5-0 wins over Azerbaijan and Estonia respectively, while Patrick Wimmer was a 72nd-minute substitute in Austria’s 3-1 win in Sweden – a result that leaves Ralf Rangnick’s team on the brink of the finals. Austria also drew 1-1 with Moldova in a friendly – Wimmer was an unused substitute in that match.
Group H: Six points for goal-hungry duo
Jonas Wind and Joakim Maehle helped Denmark claim two important qualifying wins. In the 4-0 triumph over San Marino, Maehle doubled the Danes’ lead after 28 minutes before Wind made it 3-0 five minutes before the interval. Maehle then set up the game’s only goal in Sunday’s 1-0 win in Finland.
Group I: Switzerland lead the way, Zesiger watches on
Switzerland were held to a 2-2 draw in Kosovo on Saturday but lead the way in their section after beating Andorra 3-0 on Tuesday. Cedric Zesiger was an unused substitute in both games.
Paredes makes international bow
Having been named in the USA squad for the first time, Kevin Paredes was an unused substitute in a 3-0 friendly win against Uzbekistan but was handed his international debut in the 4-0 victory over Oman on Tuesday night, entering the fray with 11 minutes remaining. Congratulations, Kevin!
Vranckx and Tiago Tomas hit ground running in U21 qualifying
The qualifying campaign for the European Under-21 Championship in Slovakia is also under way. In Group B, Aster Vranckx was named in the starting line-up in Belgium’s 1-0 win over Kazakhstan before being taken off with 20 minutes remaining. Tiago Tomas enjoyed a dream start to the campaign with Portugal, scoring their third in a 3-0 win against Andorra moments after coming off the bench. Tomas then played the entire second half of Portugal’s 5-0 success against Belarus.
A goal and assist for Pejcinovic
Dzenan Pejcinovic was involved in two friendlies for Germany U19s in Valencia. The 18-year-old VfL attacker set up Mert Kömür’s 18th-minute winner in last Wednesday’s 1-0 victory over England before doubling Germany’s lead after 17 minutes of Tuesday’s 6-1 rout of Switzerland.