RPL players on international duty: Zaynutdinov scores in penalty shootout, Martins named captain

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Thirteen RPL players featured for their national teams in friendly matches and the Nations League on 29 March.

Nations League

League C, relegation playoff

Kazakhstan 0-1 Moldova (2-2 on aggregate; 5-4 penalty shootout)

Three RPL representatives were named in the Kazakhstan starting line–up against Moldova; Nuraly Alip (Zenit), Marat Bystrov (Akhmat) and Baktiyor Zaynutdinov (CSKA). Bystrov was substituted off in the 66th minute, Alip was booked and then replaced in the first period of extra-time, while Zaynutdinov played the match to the end and scored in the penalty shootout to pull his country back to 4-3 down with one spot-kick left each. Kazakhstan won the shootout and remain in League C, while Moldova are relegated to League D for next season’s Nations League.

Friendly matches

Croatia 2-1 Bulgaria

Dynamo midfielder Nikola Moro made his debut for Croatian, spending the first half on the pitch, and Arsenal's Bulgarian midfielder Georgi Kostadinov appeared in the 60th minute also with the score still 0-0. In the 69th minute, Bulgaria took the lead, but then Croatia scored twice and won. On 2 June, Bulgaria will meet Northern Macedonia, and the next day Croatia will play Austria. Both matches are Nations League fixtures.

Bosnia and Herzegovina 1-0 Luxembourg

Spartak midfielder Christopher Martins was named the Luxembourg captain for the first time and played the full 90 minutes against Bosnia and Herzegovina. Luxembourg conceded the winner in the 86th minute from Edin Dzeko. Their next fixture is in the Nations League against Lithuania on 4 June.

Albania 0-0 Georgia

Arsenal’s Zuriko Davitashvili started for Georgia and was replaced in the 75th minute. The result broke Georgia’s four-match winning streak. They will play their next match on 2 June against Gibraltar in the Nations League.

Belarus 1-0 Bahrain

Khimki defender Zakhar Volkov spent the entire match against Bahrain on the bench as Belarus won their third match with a clean sheet in a row. On 3 June, they will play Slovakia away in the  Nations League.

Norway 9-0 Armenia

Krasnodar’s Eduard Spertsyan and Rostov’s Khoren Bayramyan played for Armenia only in the first half: the former was replaced in the 35th minute, while the latter came off at half time with his side already 5-0 down after receiving a yellow card. Armenia played with 10 men from the 17th minute and suffered the biggest defeat in their history. Their next match will take place on 4 June against Scotland in the Nations League.

Qatar 0-0 Slovenia

Jaka Bijol’s Slovenia drew with the 2022 World Cup hosts at the Education City Arena, built for the tournament itself, and the CSKA midfielder was booked during his 90 minutes on the pitch. On 2 June, Slovenia will play Sweden in the Nations League.

Northern Ireland 0-1 Hungary

Nizhny Novgorod defender Akos Kecskes started the match on the bench and came on in the 82nd minute. On 4 June, Hungary will face England in the Nations League.

Spain 5-0 Iceland

CSKA defender Hordur Magnusson played the full 90 minutes for Iceland - his first full match since recovering from injury. Iceland will play their next match on 2 June with Israel in the Nations League.

Wales 1-1 Czech Republic

Lokomotiv striker Jan Kuchta started the game before being replaced immediately after the break. The Czech Republic will play their next match in the Nations League on 2 June against Switzerland.


Photo: Kazakhstan Football Federation, Slovenian Football Union


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