International round-up: André Silva on target for Portugal against Andorra, Bonucci and Italy draw Macedonia

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André Silva celebrates during the Andorra-Protugal FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Estadi Nacional on October 7, 2017 in Andorra la Vella, Andorra. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)
André Silva celebrates during the Andorra-Protugal FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier at the Estadi Nacional on October 7, 2017 in Andorra la Vella, Andorra. (Photo by David Ramos/Getty Images)

André Silva scored a goal in Portugal’s win while Ricardo Rodriguez was rested for Switzerland and Hakan Çalhanoğlu was banned for Turkey in the first round of October ’17 international football.

The FIFA World Cup qualification is at its critical phase and with one more match remaining, no Milan player has a guaranteed place in Russia in 2018.

On Tuesday at 21:45 CET in Lisbon there will be a big duel between Portugal and Switzerland to determine who wins Group B and goes straight to the WC and who has to go through the Playoff round.

Portugal had to beat Andorra on Saturday and coach Fernando Santos started with André Silva alone in attack, keeping Cristiano Ronaldo on the bench as the Real Madrid man was a yellow away from suspension. Silva, and the entire Portugal side, however, struggled without CR7, who entered on HT.

In the 63′ minute, Inter’s João Mário crossed the ball, André Silva made a slight touch on it and set up Ronaldo for Portugal’s opener. In the 86′ minute, it was the turn of the Milan man to score as Cristiano’s cross found the head of Danilo Pereira, who nodded the ball down to the far post to give Silva the easy tap-in. André was replaced in the 89′ minute after a decent – but not great – match.

Ricardo Rodriguez, meanwhile, was rested by Switzerland ahead of the Portugal tie. His teammates, however, did not struggle against Hungary and kept their perfect record of 9 wins out of 9 matches. Switzerland were assisted by a very, very poor performance from goalkeeper Péter Gulácsi and managed to score 5 times past Hungary, who also managed to get 2 balls past Yann Sommer.

Gian Piero Ventura and Leonardo Bonucci during the Italy-Macedonia FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on October 6, 2017 in Turin,Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)
Gian Piero Ventura and Leonardo Bonucci during the Italy-Macedonia FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier at Stadio Olimpico Grande Torino on October 6, 2017 in Turin,Italy. (Photo by Claudio Villa/Getty Images)

On Friday night, Gian Piero Ventura’s Italy took on Macedonia. Leonardo Bonucci played the entire match while Gianluigi Donnarumma was kept on the bench. Italy, once again, played terrible football and the heat on Ventura is even greater than the one on Milan boss Vincenzo Montella.

Giorgio Chiellini scored for Italy in the 40′ minute but the Italian defense, made-up by Barzagli, Bonucci, Chiellini and Gigi Buffon, was beaten by Palermo’s Aleksandar Trajkovski in the 77′ minute. The whole Italy team was awful to watch but La Gazzetta picked Bonucci as the Flop of the Match.

Italy have another match on Monday against Albania in Shkoder (20:45 CET) but it’s meaningless since this Macedonia draw means that Italy have booked themselves a place in the Playoffs while Spain won the group. According to today’s GdS, Ventura will play 4-2-4, with Gigio on the bench.

Arda Turan and Burak Yilmaz during the Turkey-Iceland FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier on October 6, 2017 at the Eskisehir Stadium in Eskisehir, Turkey. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)
Arda Turan and Burak Yilmaz during the Turkey-Iceland FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier on October 6, 2017 at the Eskisehir Stadium in Eskisehir, Turkey. (STR/AFP/Getty Images)

On the same evening, Hakan Çalhanoğlu watched from the stands as his Turkey teammates were defeated 3-0 by Iceland in Eskisehir. The Milan midfielder was suspended and could not help his national team, which lost all hope to qualify to the World Cup and has been eliminated. Turkey’s next match is against Finland but it’s only for the protocol. Hakan is banned for the derby as well.

Still on Friday, Franck Kessié played the 90 minutes in Ivory Coast’s 0-0 draw with Mali. Since they don’t have another match until November (against Morocco – a crucial encounter to decide which of the two will go to Russia in the summer), Kessié returned to Milanello early and has more time to rest and prepare for the Derby della Madonnina next week at Stadio San Siro, which will be sold-out.

Lucas Biglia and Sergio Pena during the Argentina-Peru FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier ar La Bombonera on October 5, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)
Lucas Biglia and Sergio Pena during the Argentina-Peru FIFA 2018 World Cup qualifier ar La Bombonera on October 5, 2017 in Buenos Aires, Argentina. (JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

In the night between Thursday and Friday, Cristian Zapata and Colombia were defeated 2-1 by Gustavo Gomez and Paraguay. The two Milan center backs played the full match for their respective national teams. The South American group is the craziest and on the remaining matchday, in the night between Tuesday and Wednesday, Colombia play Peru away while Paraguay host Venezuela.

Lucas Biglia and Argentina can find themselves out of the World Cup as well. The midfielder played 90 minutes in the 0-0 draw with Peru. Argentina are currently in 6th place in the group, and they have an absolutely crucial match against Ecuador on the night between Tuesday and Wednesday.

Patrick Cutrone, Federico Chiesa, Fabio Depaoli, Filippo Romagna and Manuel Locatelli celebrating during the Hungary U21-Italy U21 international friendly at Ferenc Szusza Stadium on October 5, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)
Patrick Cutrone, Federico Chiesa, Fabio Depaoli, Filippo Romagna and Manuel Locatelli celebrating during the Hungary U21-Italy U21 international friendly at Ferenc Szusza Stadium on October 5, 2017 in Budapest, Hungary. (Photo by Laszlo Szirtesi/Getty Images)

Moving to the Italy U21 squad, Patrick Cutrone, Manuel Locatelli and Davide Calabria all started and played a big part in the Azzurrini’s 6-2 win over Hungary U21. Cutrone scored twice (18′, 25′ pk) and assisted one (29′) before being replaced on half-time while Locatelli played 60 minutes and Calabria completed 90 minutes. They face Morocco U21 for a friendly on October 10th at 18:30 CET.

Niccolò Zanellato meanwhile did not take part in Italy U20’s 5-1 heavy defeat to England U20, while Matteo Gabbia played 180 minutes in Italy U19’s wins over Moldova last Wednesday (4-0) and against Estonia (2-1) yesterday. They have another match on October 10th, as part of the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championship qualification, as they face Sweden U19 in Jönköping at 18:00 CET.

After the second round of October 17 international football, the players will be back at Milanello to train hard ahead of the Derby on Sunday, which they have to win after two back-to-back defeats.

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Puang_Machink
Puang_Machink
2 years ago

Italy, once again, played terrible football and the heat on Ventura is even greater than the one on Milan boss Vincenzo Montella….

Ironic

Kaka
Kaka
2 years ago

I don’t understand why it is so hard for teams to change coaches. Psychological aspect is very important, I would say the most important and whenever things don’t go well you have to change something. Look at Argentina and Italy. None of their coaches perform well and what are they waiting for? – Yeah, yeah you’re gonna say no one changes coaches during session and etc. but in my opinion sacking them would be radical decision which could have an impact on overall performance. Only Messi and Dybala should be winning games against last two Argentina’s opponents and Italy… I… Read more »

Bang
Bang
2 years ago
Reply to  Kaka

Maybe it’s because our financial. If we sacked coach, the situation will not even better and we spent too much on our last transfer. On the other hand, the great coach like Ancelotti just want to join on summer

Ali
Ali
2 years ago
Reply to  Kaka

Yeah, Argentina is the perfect example. A team full of great and World class players, yet they are struggling so hard just because the coach is not performing well. Take a hint Fassobelli *wink

Ink
Ink
2 years ago
Reply to  Kaka

Is it so hard to fathom?
De Boer, Pioli – Shinter
Leeds
Fulham
Our own beloved Milan (I am pretty sure if we did not sack Miha, we would have been in Europa last season)

There are numerous examples. Take your pick.

And you cannot parallel club football with international football. They are completely different.

Gman
Gman
2 years ago
Reply to  Kaka

Sack Argentina’s coach after just two games? Did you even watch their last game? It’s not the Sampoli’s fault they wasted so many chances.

AdeB
AdeB
2 years ago

Cheers

oluwa shevy
2 years ago

OMo up super eagles.almost d same quality wit AC Milan dsame type of football.

folumilano
folumilano
2 years ago

Yes up super eagles, ighalo and mikel better than kalinic, and biglia