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International round-up: Differing fortunes for Magpies trio

Written by Rory Mitchinson

There were mixed emotions for the three Newcastle United players in action for their countries on Thursday night.

Fabian Schär – who bagged the Magpies’ equaliser against Watford in the Premier League on Saturday – was on target again, giving Switzerland a 74th-minute lead against the Republic of Ireland at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin.

However, the Swiss were unable to see the job through, with Sheffield United’s David McGoldrick rescuing a point for the Republic late on.

Schär’s side – already guaranteed a play-off courtesy of their showing in the Nations League – remain firmly in contention for a qualification spot, though, and should close to within three points of the Irish – who lead the way in Group D – when they host Gibraltar on Sunday.

Elsewhere, Emil Krafth came off the bench as Sweden coasted to victory over the Faroe Islands to stay second in Group F.

Krafth replaced former Celtic defender Mikael Lustig at the interval with the Swedes already 4-0 up in Tórshavn – and that was the way it remained.

Sweden host near neighbours Norway in a crunch encounter on Sunday, where another win would leave Janne Andersson’s side well placed to make it to next summer’s finals, behind runaway leaders Spain.

Further afield, it was a disappointing night for Miguel Almirón, who played the full game as Paraguay lost 2-0 to Japan in a friendly in Kashima.

La Albirroja remain in Asia for another friendly, against Jordan on Tuesday, as they continue their preparations for South America’s 2022 World Cup qualifiers, which get underway in March.

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