19.11.2020

RPL players on international duty: Armenia promoted in Nations League, Bicfalvi scores first goal for Romania

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On 18 November, Russian Premier Liga players took part on the last UEFA Nations League matchday, and a 2021 UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualifying match.

UEFA Nations League matchday six

League A

Group 1: Bosnia and Herzegovina 2-0 Italy

Rostov defender Denis Hadzikadunic played 90 minutes against the Italians. Bosnia finished last in the group with two points and were relegated to League B, while Italy led by former Zenit head coach Roberto Mancini, reached the semi-finals after finishing in first place.

Poland 1-2 Netherlands

Lokomotiv midfielder Grzegorz Krychowiak played his 75th game for the Polish national team, was shown a yellow card and then substituted in the 71st minute. Ten minutes later, the second Railwayman Maciej Rybus came on, while Dynamo midfielder Sebastian Szymanski remained on the bench. Poland finished third in the group with seven points.

Group 2: England 4-0 Iceland

CSKA midfielder Arnor Sigurdsson was on the bench for iceland, and his club teammate Hordur Magnusson was not included in the matchday squad. Erik Hamren's team finished with six losses in six games and are relegated to League B, where they will play in the 2022/23 season.

League B

Group 1: Austria 1-1 Norway

Defenders Haitham Aleesami from Rostov and Stefan Strandberg from Ural did not participate in the match. Earlier, the Norwegian national team went into quarantine due to a positive test for coronavirus from Omar Elabdellaoui and missed the trip to Romania, and 18 new players were called up for the match with Austria. Thanks to the draw, Austria advanced to League A, while Norway finished second in the group.

Northern Ireland 1-1 Romania

Ural midfielder Eric Bicfalvi came on in the 74th minute with Romania 1-0 down in Belfast, and equalised seven minutes later. This goal was the 32-year-old's first for the national team, for whom he played his seventh match. Romania finished third in the group with eight points.

Group 2: Czech Republic 2-0 Slovakia

Spartak midfielder Aleks Kral played 90 minutes in his 16th match for the Czech national team. Thanks to a win over Slovakia and Scotland’s 1-0 loss against Israel, the Czech Repubic topped the group two points clear of Scotland, and will play in League A in the next Nations League campaign.

League C

Group 2: Armenia 1-0 North Macedonia

Tambov defender Varazdat Aroyan played his 55th match for Armenia with the captain's armband, while club teammate Aleksandr Karapetyan only played the first half. Khimki midfielder Arshak Koryan was also included in the starting lineup; before the break, he received a yellow card, and was substituted in the 65th minute. Thanks to victory over North Macedonia, Armenia took first place in the group and were promoted to League B.

Group 2: Georgia 0-0 Estonia

Ufa defender Jemal Tabidze and Rotor midfielder Zuriko Davitashvili started for Georgia. Tabidze played the whole match, while Davitashvili was given 66 minutes. After the break, Arsenal defender Gia Grigalava appeared on the pitch, and in the 85th minute, on came Rotor striker Beka Mikeltadze. Another Rotor man, Solomon Kverkvelia, stayed on the bench. Georgia finished third in the group, while Estonia finished last.

Group 3: Kosovo 1-0 Moldova

Akhmat midfielder Bernard Berisha did not play against Moldova due to a yellow-card suspension. The victory helped Kosovo to finish third on five points, while Moldova finished last.

Group 3: Greece 0-0 Slovenia

Sochi defender Miha Mevlja played a full match in Athens and helped Slovenia keep a clean sheet for the fifth time in six Nations League games. They won the group with 14 points and earned a place in League B for the 2022/23 season.

Group 4: Albania 3-2 Belarus

Lokomotiv striker Vitaly Lisakovich played 77 minutes against Albania, and received a yellow card before being substituted. Due to the defeat in Tirana, Belarus ended up in second place in the group with 10 points, while Albania finished one point ahead to earn promotion to League B.

Group 4: Kazakhstan 1-2 Lithuania

Akhmat defender Marat Bystrov was not included in the home team's matchday squad due to illness. Khimki midfielder Islambek Kuat led Kazakhstan out as the captain, but was sent off in the 50th minute with the scores level at 1-1. In the minority, the hosts conceded the decisive goal in the fourth added minute. Kazakhstan finished bottom, and will enter the playoffs to stay in League C in March 2022.

The last four teams in the groups - Cyprus, Estonia, Moldova and Kazakhstan - will be split into pairs. At the end of the two-legged ties, the two winners will remain in League C, while the losers will be relegated to League D.

2021 UEFA Under-21 European Championship qualifiers

Group 1: Italy 4-1 Sweden

Rostov's Swedish midfielders Armin Gigovic and Pontus Almqvist played in Italy from the first minute. Gigovic was substituted in the 56th minute, and Almqvist played the full match and earned a booking. The defeat deprived the Swedes of a chance to make it to finals, having accumulated 15 points in nine matches. The meeting with Armenia did not take place due to their opponents’ positive coronavirus tests, and Sweden finished fourth in the group. The gap to Ireland, who were second, was four points.

Photo: Football Federation of Armenia, Football Federation of Slovenia


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