Breaking down Int'l break
While some European heavyweights fell, others had a magical outing during this International football break
This week wasn't the same for football fanatics across the globe with the sport entering its less-exciting international break. Anyway, for fanatics, some form of football is always beckoning; as far as the sport is concerned, it never shies away from adding its moments of awe, whether it is a fiercely fought domestic competition or an international friendly. Here is a round-up of the most kicky and absurd events that happened across the globe in the course of international fixtures, involving both European qualifiers and international friendlies
Forgettable for the biggies
Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, yet again, endured a hard time donning their international jerseys with their respective sides failing to shine. Despite Messi making a comeback to his side after missing six friendlies (since bowing to France in the World Cup) and under new coach Lionel Scaloni, La Albiceleste fell to Venezuela in a 3-1 defeat.
Juventus star Ronaldo-led Portugal were held 1-1 by Serbia in the European qualifiers, which was marred by the Portugese captain's thigh injury, marking the side's second draw in two opening games.
EPL players shine bright
While some were finding it hard to come to terms with the results, it was a different story for players of the Premier League. England pitted against Montenegro in the European qualifiers for the 2020 edition saw Raheem Sterling netting thrice in 5-1 drubbing of the latter. Earlier on Friday, the Man City forward showcased a similar display against Czech Republic, marking a fine International break for him. While Chelsea player Ross Barkley will be heading back to his club with a boost as he scored twice in Podgorica, his counterparts N'golo Kante and Olivier Giroud were also a joy to watch in France's assertive 4-0 win over Iceland. English defenders involved in the last two games must be pleased to have only conceded once in their two European Qualifiers. Liverpool striker Roberto Firmino along with his counterpart Gabriel Jesus also stepped up for Brazil in their 3-1 victory over Czech Republic on Tuesday, after they were held to a disappointing draw against Panama last week.
There's no denying the fact that when two heavyweights of the footballing world lock horns the entire act is pulsating, no matter the outcome. Similar was the case with the undoubted big game of the international break which saw Netherlands going up against Germany. The match-up was as gripping as it promised, and its 3-2 scoreline bears testimony.
The encounter started off with a bang when Leroy Sane put the Germans ahead early in the first half, as the game progressed, Germany found the net again shortly after the break through Serge Gnabry – but it all went down to wire as the Dutch were back on level terms. First by De Ligt from a set piece and the equaliser nabbed by Depay. Come 90th minute, Marco Reus' cross across the Dutch penalty area found Nico Schulz, who slid the ball home and grabbed the game for Germany!