Kalidou Koulibaly captained Senegal as they cruised to a 5-1 victory at home to Mozambique on Friday evening.
The match, the third in reigning champions Senegal’s qualification campaign for the next Africa Cup of Nations, was all but over by half-time. The West African side scored twice in the first 15 minutes through Youssouf Sabaly, a shot from the edge of the area, and Sadio Mane, and were 4-0 up by the interval with Sheffield United’s Iliman Ndiaye with his first international goal and Boulaye Dia also on target.
Mozambique denied Koulibaly and the rest of the Senegal rearguard a clean sheet when they scored early in the second half. Close to the end the four-goal advantage was restored and the scoring continued to be shared around, with Strasbourg striker Habib Diallo finding the target.
The victory maintains the 100 per cent record for the Lions of Teranga in a group that also contains Rwanda and Benin. They play Mozambique again on Tuesday, this time away.
Our striker on loan at Inter Milan, Romelu Lukaku, scored a hat-trick for Belgium in a 3-0 win against Sweden.
The 29-year-old headed in a cross in the 35th minute to open the scoring in an away match for the Red Devils. He then tapped in from point-blank range three minutes into the second half. On both occasions the ball came in from the right from Hertha Berlin winger Dodi Lukebakio.
Lukaku’s third on the night and 71st international goal of his career was another finish from inside the six-yard box from a low cross, scored with seven minutes to go.
The win was the start of Belgium’s quest to qualify for Euro 2024. The next match is on Tuesday away to Germany.
Cesare Casadei, currently on loan at Reading, played for Italy Under-21s away against Serbia and was on the winning side. Samuele Mulattieri, an Inter Milan player on loan at Frosinone, scored both goals in the second half. Italy U21s have another friendly on Monday against Ukraine.
Having come on during the second half of England Under-18s’ win on Wednesday against Croatia and set up a goal, Leo Castledine was handed a start against Belgium U18s today.
However the match, which was also played in Croatia, ended in a 3-0 defeat. There was a chance for England to equalise when 1-0 down but after he had seen his shot handled for a penalty, Birmingham’s Jobe Bellingham had his spot-kick saved. Further goals either side of half-time sealed the Young Lions’ fate.
England Under-18s now play their counterparts from Switzerland on Monday.