- Henry Brookbanks
Bernardo and Cancelo through, Mahrez heartbreak – Manchester City International Roundup (29/03/22)
Manchester City had 9 players involved in last night’s international fixtures; the England boys shined in particular, with all three of them grabbing a goal contribution, while Joao Cancelo and Bernardo Silva helped Portugal through to the World Cup in Qatar at the end of the year but Riyad Mahrez and Algeria suffered heartbreak at the hands of Cameroon.
England 3-0 Ivory Coast
Raheem Sterling led the England side out at Wembley this evening as he wore the armband in the absence of Harry Kane – Jack Grealish also started for Southgate’s men, with Phil Foden among the substitutes.
The deadlock was broken in the 30th minute after Ollie Watkins finished an easy enough chance created superbly by Sterling. 10 minutes later, Ivory Coast went down to 10 men after Serge Aurier committed two yellow card offences in quick succession. Raheem Sterling then got on the scoresheet himself just before halftime after linking up nicely with his City teammate, Jack Grealish, topping it off with a tidy finish within the penalty area.
Sterling and Grealish were both substituted in the 62nd minute, with Sterling giving way to Phil Foden who saw out the rest of the game. England sealed the win in the 93rd minute after a Foden corner was met by a Tyrone Mings header that made it 3-0 to Southgate’s men.
Portugal 2-0 North Macedonia
Bernardo Silva and Joao Cancelo started for Portugal in a game that saw them clinch a spot at the forthcoming World Cup. A brace from Bruno Fernandes was enough to beat a North Macedonian side who caused a huge upset last week after beating Italy in the dying minutes. Silva played 87 minutes before being brought off, while Cancelo played the whole 90 minutes – keeping a clean sheet and picking up a yellow card for his troubles.
Spain 5-0 Iceland
Aymeric Laporte kept a clean sheet and completed the whole 90 minutes for Luis Enrique’s side as they steamrolled passed Iceland – netting five, with braces coming from Alvaro Morata and Pablo Sarabia, while Yeremy Pino also got on the scoresheet. Rodri was an unused substitute tonight, leaving him somewhat fresh for City’s fixture against Burnley this coming weekend.
Netherlands 1-1 Germany
Ilkay Gundogan started for the visitors and completed the full 90 minutes, while Nathan Ake started on the bench for the Dutch, despite scoring in the previous game.
Germany took lead just before halftime, owing to a thunderous strike from Thomas Muller on his left foot. Steven Bergwijn equalised for Louis Van Gaal’s side just before the 70th-minute mark – not long before Ake was called into action for the last 15 minutes.
Ake securing some minutes under his belt just before a huge month of football for City could be useful, especially with Pep Guardiola’s centre back options being limited with Ruben Dias still recovering from a hamstring injury.
Algeria 1-2 (2-2) Cameroon AET
Riyad Mahrez completed the full game for Algeria, but that was not enough to take them to the World Cup after a late late winner for Cameroon saw them snatch the place on away goals.
Algeria went into tonight’s fixture with a one-goal lead on aggregate – a lead which was shortly cancelled out after Choupo-Moting gave Cameroon the lead of the game within the first 25 minutes. Algeria thought they snatched back the lead of the tie in the second half through an Islam Slimani strike – however, it was ruled offside by VAR.
The game went into extra time, and despite another Slimani disallowed goal, Algeria finally took the lead in the 118th minute after a header from substitute, Ahmed Touba.
A spot in the 2022 World Cup seemed all but guaranteed, until a moment of pure drama in the 124th minute saw Toko Ekambi slot the ball in the back of the net and send his nation to the World Cup at Algeria's expense.
Written by: @BrookbanksHenry
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