Joy and heartbreak for Whites stars.
A number of Leeds United players have been in action over the international break, as the final places were decided for the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and nations also competed in friendlies.
There was joy for Whites defender Pontus Jansson and Sweden, who beat Italy 1-0 in a play-off over two legs. Despite featuring in the group stages, Jansson was an unused substitute in both matches, as Jakob Johansson’s goal ensured Italy would not be going to the World Cup for the first time since 1958. Sweden recorded the win in Solna, before holding out for a 0-0 draw at the San Siro, to secure their spot in Russia, their first World Cup qualification since 2006.
Stuart Dallas suffered disappointment with Northern Ireland, after they were defeated 1-0 by Switzerland over two legs. A controversial penalty converted by Ricardo Rodriguez, proved to be the difference between the two teams. Dallas started both matches and despite a courageous effort and Switzerland clearing a last minute effort on the goal-line in the second leg, Michael O’Neill’s side were unable to recover from the first leg defeat.
Midfielder Eunan O’Kane linked up with the Republic of Ireland, but wasn’t involved in either leg as Denmark recorded victory over two legs. After securing a 0-0 away draw in Copenhagen, things looked promising for Martin O’Neill’s side in the return tie in Dublin when they took an early lead, but a Christian Eriksen hat-trick, helped Denmark inflict a 5-1 defeat on the Green Army.
Leeds captain Liam Cooper was an unused substitute in Scotland’s friendly with the Netherlands. Cooper who has still yet to earn a cap with Scotland, watched on in Aberdeen as Memphis Depay’s strike gave the Netherlands a 1-0 win.
Winger Ezgjan Alioski helped Macedonia record a 2-0 victory over Norway at the Philip II Arena. Alioski played 89 minutes and provided an assist for Goran Pandev’s opener. Macedonia are now unbeaten in their last five matches.
Young defender Conor Shaughnessy was an unused substitute for the Republic of Ireland Under-21s, as they were defeated by Norway. Real Madrid youngster Martin Ødegaard who is currently on loan at SC Heerenveen was on the score-sheet as Norway ran out 2-1 winners.
Jay-Roy Grot featured in two matches for the Netherland’s Under-20s from the bench. They defeated Switzerland 1-0 at home, but suffered a 1-0 defeat away in Italy.
Oliver Sarkic started both of the games for Montenegro’s Under-21s, but couldn’t prevent his country from suffering two defeats. They suffered a 2-0 defeat against Slovenia and a 3-1 loss against Bulgaria.
Young goalkeeper Will Huffer also took part in a training camp with England’s Under-20s over the international break.