International Roundup: September 2-10
Posted by nickogs20 on September 16, 2008
A brief and slightly belated round-up of the young Reds in international action over the last fortnight or so.
Jonny Evans earned his 12th and 13th full international caps for Northern Ireland in their opening 2010 World Cup qualifiers against Slovakia and the Czech Republic. Nigel Worthington’s side slipped to a 2-1 away defeat against the Slovaks on 6/9/08 before picking up a creditable point (which could have been more) against the Czechs at Windsor Park last Wednesday.
Northern Ireland U21s hopes of qualifying for the 2009 Euro U21 finals were emphatically extinguished by a Toni Kroos-inspired Germany side in Wuppertal on the 5th. The home side ran out 3-0 winners against an NI side featuring Craig Cathcart (9th U21 cap) and Corry Evans (cap #3), the former picking up a late yellow card.
England were more successful, brushing aside their Portuguese counterparts 2-0 at Wembley to ensure progress to a play-off with Wales in October to decide who qualifies for next year’s finals. Fraizer Campbell replaced goalscorer Gabriel Agbonlahor for the last fifteen minutes and twice came close to getting on the scoresheet, while Tom Heaton was an unused substitute.
Ron-Robert Zieler was an unused sub as Germany’s U20s beat Austria 4-2 in Gütersloh.
Danny Welbeck played a huge part as England overcame the Netherlands 2-1 at Shrewsbury’s ProStar Stadium. The 17 year-old striker was desperately unlucky to score, but two goals in two minutes from Arsenal’s Rhys Murphy were enough to give the home side victory after Georginio Wijnaldum had given the Dutch a first-half lead. Ben Amos was an unused substitute (something of a recurring theme for our young keepers…) while Danny Drinkwater withdrew from the squad with an injury.
Details are sketchy with regards to starting lineups but John Gorman definitely played a part in one or both of Northern Ireland U16s friendly games against Sweden in Visby on the 2nd and 4th of September. The first game finished 1-1 with the hosts picking up a 2-0 win in the second game. Reader SweGooner saw one of the games and left the following comment on the blog about Gorman:
“He didn’t stand out from the rest. He’s left footed but played right winger so he cut in from the flank to take on a defender or look for pass. He’s like a Messi type of player but will never be as good as him. He was descent and nothing more. Can’t see him ever take the step up to the first team, he’ll maybe reach Championship quality.”
Interestingly, the Swedish side for both games featured Daniel Ålund and Nicklas Bärkroth, two players who have been heavily linked with United over the last year or so.