Debuts, returns and goal for the Double-headed Eagle’s national team players in the March internationals. Paokfc.gr is here to provide our review of how our players did while on duty for their countries.
Greece started their World Cup qualifiying group with an impressive 1-1 away draw in Spain, then defeated Honduras in a friendly at the Toumba, while on Wednesday (31.03) they failed to beat Georgia in a match that ended 1-1. Christos Tzolis played 45 minutes in each of those matches, coming on as a substitute in Granada and starting in the other two games. He had appeptite and showed some good touches, while he also missed a couple of good chances to score.
Ingi Ingason played the full 90 minutes for Iceland, however they did not start their road to the World Cup in Qatar in the way they would have liked. The Icelanders lost 3-0 against Germany as well as Armenia via a 2-0 scoreline, managing to win only against Liechtenstein, in three away matches which means they have lost some vital ground in the battle to qualify.
Karol Swiderski made his debut for Poland. The PAOK forward did not play in the first game, a 3-3 draw against Hungary, but in the home match against Andorra he meeded just a few minutes to score his first goal. In the final game against England at Wembley, coach Paulo Sousa gave Swiderski a starting berth and he played 45 minutes.
Michael Krmencik’s return to the Czech Republic fold did not bring a goal for the PAOK man, but he certainly had a positive impact. He watched from the bench as the Czechs beat Estonia 6-2, and then started the 1-1 draw with Belgium, in a match which saw him hit the post and produce a solid overall performance. In the last match away against Wales, he came off the bench in the 53rd minute, but could not prevent his country from losting 1-0.
The Serbian national team made an exceptional start to their qualifying campaign, collecting seven points and moving joint-top of the group alongside Portugal. The Serbs defeated Ireland 3-2, recorded a 2-2 draw with Portugal, and also beat Azerbaijan 2-1 awau from hom with Andrija Zivkovic coming off the bench in the last game in the 64th minute.
Rahman Baba returned to the Ghana national team also in impressive fashion. The PAOK defender played in central defence in the first game against South Africa (1-1), while in the 3-1 win over Sao Tome he found the net playing in his usual position at left-back.
The Greece Under-21 team began their European Championship qualifying campaign with a goalless draw against Cyprus at ‘Leoforos’ in Athens. Michailidis, Lyratzis and Tsingaras all started the match, while Koutsias came off the bench in the 64th minute.