International

Internationals: Maiden strike by Kurt Zouma in big France win, Italy and Belgium continue good start

There were more Euro 2020 qualification matches featuring Chelsea players on Tuesday night…

Kurt Zouma scored his first international goal this evening as France ran out 4-0 winners in a Euro qualifier in Andorra. It was an important win for the French over one of the minnows of European football after they had lost against Turkey at the weekend, and it was our big defender, who played last season on loan at Everton, who completed the scoring on the hour when he scrambled the ball in after a corner (pictured top).

It was Zouma’s fourth cap overall and first competitive appearance. Olivier Giroud came on for the final 20 minutes while N’Golo Kante is missing this round of internationals due to injury. Sevilla’s Wissam Ben Yedder and Marseille’s Florian Thauvin also scored their first international goals and Kylian Mbappe netted his 100th for clubs and country.

France, Turkey and Iceland are all on nine points after each has played four games in their group.

Ethan Ampadu began his first game for club or country in almost six months when Wales took on Hungary away. Winning his seventh cap overall, he played the first 54 minutes before coming off. The score at that point was 0-0 but the Welsh conceded 10 minutes from time so have three points from their three games played.

Belgium have 12 points from a possible 12. They hosted Scotland this evening and inflicted Steve Clarke’s first defeat in his second game in his new job. Our former striker Romelu Lukaku scored twice, the first from a cross by Real Madrid-bound Eden Hazard, the second after a save from a Kevin De Bruyne shot, with a suggestion of offside in the build-up. De Bruyne netted in stoppage time to make the final score 3-0. Michy Batshuayi remained on the bench.

Italy are also well placed with four wins from four as the international calendar in Europe breaks for the summer. They beat Bosnia and Herzegovina on Tuesday evening with Jorginho and Emerson Palmieri both playing the full 90 minutes in Turin. Edin Dzeko had put Bosnia ahead but Lorenzo Insigne and Marco Verratti turned it around for the Italians.
 


Mateo Kovacic played the first 55 minutes and Mario Pasalic 70 minutes of Croatia’s 2-1 home defeat by Tunisia in a friendly.

MORE FROM CHELSEA