International fixtures for our Blue-Whites had extremely mixed results on Tuesday evening. Márton Dárdai and Germany U21s had cause for celebration after an important 1-0 victory away to Israel, with the centre-back playing every minute. “I might be repeating myself here, but another win and a clean sheet is an excellent feeling! It makes you hungry for more,” summarised our number 31. The victory took Antonio di Salvo’s side one step closer to qualifying for the 2023 European Championship in Romania and Georgia. With just two qualifiers remaining, Germany’s lead at the top of Group B has now grown to five points. Jurgen Ekkelenkamp and Netherlands U21s picked up some huge points in Group E after they defeated Switzerland 2-0. Our number 10 started the game and played the entire 90 minutes. Netherlands are two points behind Switzerland, who currently top the group, but they do have a game in hand. Fredrik Bjørkan played every minute of Norway’s spectacular 9-0 friendly victory over Armenia, which was their highest-scoring victory for 30 years.
Belfodil and Algeria lose in stoppage time
After two draws against Italy and Belgium, Linus Gechter, Anton Kade and Germany U19s had to win against Finland in their final U19 European Championship second-round qualifier. However, Hannes Wolf’s side couldn’t break down their compact opposition and came away 1-0 losers, meaning they will miss out on the finals this June. “Naturally, we’re all really disappointed, and we went into the game looking for a different result. It’s important now that we pick our heads up, and I can at least now fully concentrate on the task ahead with Hertha,” explained our number 44. Ishak Belfodil and Algeria suffered last-minute heartbreak in the second leg of their World Cup qualifying play-off against Cameroon. The attacker was substituted on in the final minutes of stoppage time after extra-time, just moments after he saw his side make it 1-1 on the night, a result which would have seen them through to the World Cup finals. But, in the final seconds of the game, the visitors scored again to seal their place at the World Cup at the expense of Algeria, proving just how tough this sport is.
Dongjung Lee didn’t come on for South Korea in their 1-0 defeat to the UAE, a match which had no impact on the Group A standings in terms of World Cup qualification, and Dedryck Boyata watched on from the sidelines as Belgium recorded a 3-0 victory against Burkina Faso in a friendly. Our international players will now make their way back and join up with the rest of the squad at the training camp in Harsewinkel.
An overview of the Herthaner on international duty:
|Wed, 23/03/2022||11:30 CET||Linus Gechter, Anton Kade||U19 EURO Qual Italy vs. Germany (Vantaa)||2-2|
|Fri, 25/03/2022||18:00 CET||Fredrik Bjørkan||Friendly Norway vs. Slovakia (Oslo)||2-0|
|18:00 CET||Ishak Belfodil||WCQ Cameroon vs. Algeria (Douala)||0-1|
|18:15 CET||Márton Dárdai||U21 EURO Qual Germany vs. Latvia (Aachen)||4-0|
|18:45 CET||Jurgen Ekkelenkamp||U21 EURO Qual Bulgaria vs. Netherlands (Sofia)||0-0|
|20:00 CET||Marcel Lotka||U20 Friendly Poland vs. England (Bielsko-Biała)||2-0|
|Sat, 26/03/2022||10:00 CET||Linus Gechter, Anton Kade||U19 EURO Qual Belgium vs. Germany (Vantaa)||2-2|
|18:00 CET||Dedryck Boyata||Friendly Ireland vs. Belgium (Dublin)||2-2|
|Mon, 28/03/2022||16:00 CEST||Marcel Lotka||U20 Friendly Czech Rep. vs. Poland (Frydek-Místek)||2-0|
|20:00 CEST||Stevan Jovetić||Friendly Montenegro vs. Greece (Podgorica)||1-0|
|Tue, 29/03/2022||15:45 CEST||Dongjun Lee||WCQ UAE vs. South Korea (Dubai)||1-0|
|16:30 CEST||Linus Gechter, Anton Kade||U19 EURO Qual Finland vs. Germany (Helsinki)||1-0|
|17:00 CEST||Márton Dárdai||U21 EURO Qual Israel vs. Germany (Petach Tikwa)||0-1|
|18:45 CEST||Jurgen Ekkelenkamp||U21 EURO Qual Netherlands vs. Switzerland (Deventer)||2-0|
|19:00 CEST||Fredrik Bjørkan||Friendly Norway vs. Armenia (Oslo)||9-0|
|20:45 CEST||Dedryck Boyata||Friendly Belgium vs. Burkina Faso (Anderlecht)||3-0|
|21:30 CEST||Ishak Belfodil||WCQ Algeria vs. Cameroon (Blida)||1-2 (A.E.T.)|