International round-up: Hendrick's Republic of Ireland hold Portugal
Newcastle United midfielder Jeff Hendrick helped an improving Republic of Ireland side earn a draw with Portugal in Dublin on Thursday night.
The 29-year-old started for Stephen Kenny’s men at the Aviva Stadium, lining up against the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo and Bruno Fernandes for the 2022 World Cup qualifying Group A clash.
It was an encouraging display from the hosts, with Hendrick turning in a solid showing until he was replaced by Conor Hourihane with 11 minutes remaining.
Veteran Portugal defender Pepe was red-carded after picking up a second booking a few minutes later and Kenny’s charges could have won it in the end, with Matt Doherty netting in added time.
But the goal was disallowed after Will Keane was deemed to have fouled goalkeeper Rui Patricio, and they had to settle for a goalless draw.
Miguel Almirón was also in action on Thursday, starting for Paraguay in their World Cup qualifier against Chile in Asuncion.
It ended in defeat for La Albirroja, with Alexis Sanchez’s effort taking a deflection off Antony Silva on its way in just before the hour.
That proved to be the only goal of the game, and Magpies man Almirón later picked up a yellow card before being withdrawn six minutes from time, with Oscar Romero sent on in his place.
United full back Emil Krafth was in action, too, playing the full 90 minutes for Sweden as they were beaten 2-0 by Georgia.
Khvicha Kvaratskhelia’s second half brace at the Batumi Stadium gave the hosts all three points in their Group B qualifier for next year’s tournament in Qatar, with Krafth’s side – which included Zlatan Ibrahimovic – still on course to qualify despite the defeat.
It was a quiet night for goalkeeper Martin Dúbravka on Tuesday, however, as the United stopper remained an unused substitute during Slovakia’s 2-2 draw with Slovenia at Stadion Antona Malatinskeho in Trnava.