internationals12 November 2021

IBRA RETURNS BUT SWEDEN DEFEATED

Leão features in Portugal draw, while Kalulu plays 90 minutes for France U21s. Díaz and Ballo-Touré remain on the bench

On Thursday evening, the first fixtures of the third international break of the season took place, with Zlatan Ibrahimović, Rafael Leão and Pierre Kalulu taking to the pitch.

Ibrahimović, who played the full 90 minutes, and Sweden were surprised by Georgia in their 2022 World Cup qualifying showdown: the hosts ran out 2-0 winners (a brace from Kvaratskhelia) in Batumi, meaning the Swedes (15 points) have now lost top spot to Spain (16) in Group B. As regards La Roja, Brahim Díaz remained on the bench as they beat Greece away from home thanks to a goal from Sarabia.

Leão's Portugal, meanwhile, were forced to settle for a 0-0 draw with the Republic of Ireland, who finished the game with a man advantage. Indeed, Pepe's sending-off forced the Portuguese Head Coach to take off the 22-year-old Rossonero after he'd entered the fray in the 56th minute. Portugal and Serbia sit joint top of Group A with 17 points. As for France U21s, they consolidated first place in their European qualifying group with a comprehensive 7-0 victory over Armenia. Kalulu remained on the pitch throughout.

Finally, returning to World Cup qualifying - this time in Africa - Fode Ballo-Touré didn't feature in Togo 1-1 Senegal.


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