There were plenty of Chelsea names on the scoresheet across tonight’s latest round of internationals, with Olivier Giroud and Mateo Kovacic both hitting Nation League doubles.
Giroud scored twice for France as they defeated Sweden 4-2 in Saint-Denis, with Les Bleus having already secured top spot in Group A3.
It wasn’t easy for France though, with Sweden taking an early lead before Giroud pulled the hosts level. Benjamin Pavard then edged Didier Deschamps’s side in front before our striker headed home a second to extend France’s lead.
Robin Quaison set up a nervy finish with a goal two minutes from time, before Kingsley Coman rubber-stamped the victory with a fourth in injury time. Giroud’s brace means he is just seven goals away from catching Thierry Henry as France’s all-time leading scorer.
There was more at stake in the other game in Group A3, with Kovacic’s Croatia needing to equal or better Sweden’s result or face relegation.
Things were going according to plan when Kovacic fired Croatia in front from close range, before Portugal turned the game on its head to lead 2-1. A stunning second from our No17 pulled the 10-men Croatians back on level terms before Manchester City defender Ruben Dias grabbed a winner for the visitors in the final minute. Croatia finish above Sweden on goal difference.
It was a night to forget for Germany, who were thrashed 6-0 by Spain in Seville. Timo Werner played 77 minutes for Joachim Low’s side, who registered just 30 per cent possession in a game they will want to forget quickly.
Callum Hudson-Odoi was another Blue on target this evening, opening the scoring for already-qualified England Under-21s as they beat Albania 5-0 at Molineux in a European Championship qualifier. Conor Gallagher, currently on loan from Chelsea at West Brom, replaced Hudson-Odoi just after the hour-mark.
Earlier in the day, in African Cup of Nations qualifying, Hakim Ziyech continued his fine form with another goal as Morocco defeated Central African Republic 2-0 in Cameroon. The Wizard opened the scoring, before Sevilla’s Youssef En-Nesyri added the second in added time to all but secure their place at the 33rd AFCON.
Baba Rahman was also in AFCON qualifying action, but his Ghana side were defeated 1-0 away to Sudan meaning they still have work to do to ensure qualification.
On Monday night Matt Miazga, who is currently on loan in Belgium at Anderlecht, played 80 minutes for the United States in a big friendly victory over Panama in a game held in Austria.
A young American side ran out 6-2 winners despite going behind to an early goal. Christian Pulisic was named in the USA squad and originally joined up with the camp ahead of their earlier friendly against Wales, but returned to Cobham to continue his recovery from a hamstring problem.