17 Milan players were called-up by their national teams and two of them scored last night as André Silva scored the winner for Portugal and Rodriguez netted Switzerland’s third.
The second round of international matches started well for the Rossoneri as on Sunday night, Portugal and Switzerland both won their matches with new Milan signings scoring in the process.
After playing 81 minutes without scoring against Faroe Islands in Portugal’s 5-1 win last Thursday, the former Porto man was again given the start by his coach Fernando Santos and A. Silva repaid him with a goal. In the 48′ minute, Cristiano Ronaldo’s great cross found the head of the 21-year-old, who managed to score. It was enough for Portugal to beat Hungary. Silva was replaced in the 86′ minute.
Portugal are fighting with Switzerland for the first spot in the group and the side of Vladimir Petković managed to keep their perfect record, beating Latvia 3-0. Haris Seferović (9′) and Blerim Džemaili (55′) scored before Ricardo Rodriguez got on the scoresheet himself, converting a penalty (58′). Rodriguez played 90 minutes and it was his second full match after featuring in their 3-0 win over Andorra. It will be Silva versus RR in October to determine who automatically qualifies to the WC.
Another match that happened yesterday involving a Milan player was Croatia-Kosovo. The match was originally scheduled for Saturday night but due to terrible weather it was postponed. Nikola Kalinić entered the pitch in the 73′ minute and 60 seconds later Domagoj Vida scored the winner for Croatia, who are 1st in the group that includes Andriy Shevchenko’s Ukraine and Hakan Çalhanoğlu‘s Turkey.
The only game with players from Montella’s squad that takes place today is Italy U21-Slovenia U21 (21:15 CET). The Azzurini will look to bounce back from Friday’s 3-0 loss to Spain U21. Patrick Cutrone and Davide Calabria started that match and played 86 minutes and Manuel Locatelli played 18 as a sub. Both Calabria and Locatelli wore the captain’s armband over the course of the match.
On Tuesday (and Wednesday night) the rest of the Milan players will complete their NT commitments. Matteo Gabbia and the U19 Italy squad will be in action at 15:30 for a friendly match against Russia U19. Gabbia played the first half in their 1-1 friendly against Turkey U19 on Friday.
Tomorrow night Italy of Ventura will try to forget the match against Spain after losing 3-0 Saturday. Leonardo Bonucci was the only Milan played who got to play the match as Riccardo Montolivo and Suso were in the stands while Andrea Conti & Gianluigi Donnarumma were on the bench.
Leo is suspended for the match at Mapei Stadium against Israel (20:45 CET kickoff) and he is back training at Milanello. There are growing reports, however, that Conti could be given a start after the injury to Leonardo Spinazzola. Montolivo could also find a place in this Italy side on Tuesday.
Suso, meanwhile, will hope to get his debut for Spain as after watching his teammates trash the Azzurri at the Bernabeu, he will look to convince Julen Lopetegui to play him against Liechtenstein tomorrow night (20:45 CET). Spain are currently leading the group and it’s unlikely to change.
Croatia and Turkey will also be in action tomorrow as Çalhanoğlu, after playing 68 minutes in their 2-0 loss to Ukraine, will face Kalinić at the New Eskisehir Stadium (20:45 CET kickoff). Franck Kessié played a full match in Ivory Coast’s away 3-0 win over Gabon and his national team faces Gabon again, this time in Bouake for another World Cup qualifier, and this match is tomorrow as well.
Colombia and Cristian Zapata (90 minutes in the 0-0 against Venezuela on Thursday), have a tough match on Tuesday (22:30 CET) as they face Brazil, while Gustavo Gomez (90 minutes in the 3-0 win over Chile on Thursday) and Paraguay play Uruguay on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday.
Lucas Biglia‘s match kicks off 30 minutes before Paraguay’s, namely at 01:30 CET and his Argentina side will try to get a win after the 0-0 with Uruguay in which the midfielder, who had just returned from injury, played 90 minutes. Argentina (5th in the South American group) face Venezuela.
When the international break ends, Montella will have a few days to get his squad ready for the first big test of the season: Sunday afternoon’s match against Lazio 15:00 CET kickoff at Stadio Olimpico.