RPL players on international duty: Lovren scores in France, Koryan helps Karapetyan score

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On 8 September, RPL players played their last matches of this international break for their national teams in the UEFA Nations League and 2021 European Youth Championship qualifiers before resuming the club season.

UEFA Nations League

League A, Group 2: Belgium 5-1 Iceland

CSKA midfielder Arnor Sigurdsson came into the starting line-up and was replaced in the 72nd minute, but the second Icelander from the Armymen Hordur Magnusson remained on the bench. The visitors took the lead in the 11th minute, but ex-Zenit midfielder Axel Witsel equalized in the 13th, then the Belgians scored four more goals. Having not scored points in two rounds, Iceland prop up the table while Belgium are the leaders with six points.

On 8 October, Iceland will play in Reykjavik against Romania to reach the Euro 2020 Group A play-off tournament final, with Bulgaria and Hungary meeting in the other semi-final.

League A, Group 3: Sweden 0-2 Portugal

Krasnodar striker Marcus Berg played his 78th match for the Swedish national team and was the team's captain for the first time. The forward played the entire match against the Portuguese, as did teammate Kristoffer Olsson. From the end of the first half Sweden played with ten men, and they conceded twice to Cristiano Ronaldo, who became the first European player to score a hundred goals for his national team.

League A, Group 3: France 4-2 Croatia

Zenit defender Dejan Lovren put the visitors ahead after a corner in the 17th minute. The 31-year-old scored for the fourth time in 59 caps, and for the first time since 6 September 2019. The Zenit player also wore the captain's armband after Ivan Perisic left in the 66th minute, and earned a yellow card in the 76th for unsportsmanlike conduct.

Rubin defender Filip Uremovic made his debut for the Croatian national team at the Stade de France and played 57 minutes. He came off after the visitors’ second goal due to injury. CSKA midfielder Nikola Vlasic and Lovren played a full match in France, as the teams repeated the score of the last meeting - the 2018 World Cup final.

Portugal and France lead the group on six points, while Sweden and Croatia had no points. In the first round of Nations League games in October, France will host Portugal at the Stade de France, while Croatia and Sweden will meet in Zagreb. The games are scheduled for 11 October.

League C, Group 1: Luxembourg 0-1 Montenegro

Ufa midfielder Olivier Thill played 90 minutes for Luxembourg, his team were left outnumbered at the end of the second half and conceded the only goal in added time - a penalty converted by former Dynamo Moscow striker Fatos Beciraj. The Montenegrins, having taken six points over two matchdays, are clear leaders in the group. Luxembourg, meanwhile, are second on three points. On 10 October, they will continue their Nations League campaign with a home match against Cyprus.

League C, Group 2: Armenia 2-0 Estonia

Ural Ekaterinburg defender Varazdat Haroyan came wore the captain's armband for the second game in a row, and FC Khimki midfielder Arshak Koryan had a hand in a goal for the first time with the Armenian national team. After his pass in the 44th minute, Tambov forward Aleksandr Karapetyan opened the scoring. In the 65th minute, Koryan was substituted, while Karapetyan, along with Haroyan, played the entire match. Rostov midfielder Khoren Bayramyan, who made his debut for the Armenians in the game against North Macedonia, appeared on the field in the 73rd minute with the score 2-0.

Armenia are third in the group on three points. In the next rounds, Joaquin Caparros' team will play against Georgia (11 October in Yerevan) and Estonia (14 October in Tallinn).

League C, Group 2: Georgia 1-1 North Macedonia

Rubin midfielder Khvicha Kvaratskhelia played a full 90 minutes: in the 12th minute, he earned a penalty for the hosts, which was converted by former Krasnodar midfielder Tornike Okriashvili. Rotor players Solomon Kverkvelia and Zuriko Davitashvili also played a full game for the Georgians, while Arsenal defender Gia Grigalava was left out. After two matchdays, Georgia and North Macedonia lead the way on four points each.

Before the October Nations League matches, Georgi will meet the Belarus in Tbilisi, and North Macedonia will take on Kosovo in Skopje in the Euro 2020 League D play-off semi-finals. The games will take place on 8 October.

2021 European Youth Championship qualifiers

Group 6: Faroe Islands 1-2 North Macedonia

Rostov striker David Tosevski came on in the 75th minute when the visitors were winning 1-0, and both teams then scored a goal in the last 15 minutes. Macedonians have ten points and take the third place in the group, the same number of points get Kazakhstan in second. On 8 October, North Macedonia and Kazakhstan will meet in Almaty, and on 13 October, the Macedonians will play at home against Israel.

Photo: Croatian Football Federation


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