Internationals: Christensen helps Danes to Russia; Ampadu full debut

Andreas Christensen returned to the Denmark starting line-up for their decisive match in Dublin and played his part in their successful World Cup qualification.

The final score against Republic of Ireland was 5-1 which was also the aggregate score following a goalless first leg. For this return leg, Christensen, who had been an unused sub on Saturday, was asked to play right-back and it was from an advance position that he had a big hand in the goal that brought his side back into the match.

A defensive mix-up, in which the 21-year-old was not involved, had given the Irish an early lead through Shane Duffy but just before the half-hour, Christensen managed to get his boot to a low cross and turn it onto the post, from where Cyrus Christie could only help it into his own net. It then took the Danes just three more minutes to take the lead through Tottenham’s Christian Eriksen.

Both sides had promising attacks in the second half before the next goal came, which was scored by Eriksen who then completed his hat-trick, followed by a late Niklas Bendtner penalty as Ireland mistakes contributed to the game moving completely out of their reach.

In the night’s friendly internationals, Ethan Ampadu made his full Wales debut in a friendly international in Cardiff against Panama. The 17-year-old won his first cap as a substitute in the previous game and now impressed with his passing on his maiden start before he was substituted midway through the second half. Derby’s Tom Lawrence scored not long after but the Welsh, who had a penalty saved before half-time, were denied a win by a Panama goal deep into added time. 


Ruben Loftus-Cheek’s second England start went less well than his first. Having retained his place for the match against Brazil at Wembley, he unfortunately was affected by injury during the first half and eventually walked off on 34 minutes.

When the second-half substitutions were made, Brazil brought on Willian before Tammy Abraham came on for England on 74 minutes, along with his former strike partner in Chelsea’s Academy sides Dominic Solanke. Now with Liverpool, he was earning his first cap while Abraham collected his second. Gary Cahill remained on the bench as England recorded their second 0-0 draw of this international break.

Ola Aina made his second start for Nigeria and played the first half of the Super Eagles’ notable friendly win against Argentina. The match was held in Krasnodar at one of the venues for next summer’s World Cup with the final score 4-2 after Argentina squandered a two-goal lead. Kenneth Omeruo played the final half-hour and our former midfielder John Mikel Obi was Nigeria’s no.10.

Toni Rudiger was introduced at half-time in place of Mats Hummels in Germany’s hosting of France. They were losing 1-0 at that point but the game ended 2-2 with the Germans equalising late on.

Alvaro Morata was an unused substitute in Spain’s 3-3 draw away in Russia, a scoreline that included two Sergio Ramos penalties and a goal for the home side assisted by ex-Blue Yury Zhirkov.

Thibaut Courtois also stayed on the bench and Eden Hazard and Michy Batshuayi were not involved in Belgium’s game against Japan which was decided by a Romelu Lukaku goal.  

Marco van Ginkel did come on in the second half of the Netherlands match in Romania. The score was 2-0 to the Dutch when he was introduced and it ended 3-0.