International round-up: Magpies duo in Nations League action
Newcastle United full backs Jamal Lewis and Emil Krafth were both in UEFA Nations League action for their respective countries this week – but the international fortnight ended with both Northern Ireland and Sweden suffering relegation.
Lewis was introduced as a second-half substitute for debutant Matty Kennedy in their game against Romania at Windsor Park, but despite Liam Boyce’s opener, the visitors snatched a point through Eric Bicfalvi’s late leveller.
The Magpies man, who entered the fray after 66 minutes, saw his nation’s relegation from Group B 1 confirmed prior to kick-off, after UEFA awarded Romania a win for their game against Norway, which was called off.
Lewis also played 54 minutes as a substitute in their 2-1 defeat in Austria on Sunday, just a few days on from playing all 120 minutes in their European Championships play-off final extra-time defeat to Slovakia.
Krafth came off the bench for Sweden, but couldn’t prevent them from suffering a 4-2 defeat to France in Paris.
The score was 3-1 to the hosts when the United full back was introduced just after the hour, but Sweden went on to be comfortably beaten – a result which confirms their relegation in the Nations League Group A 3.
And it was an uneventful evening for Ciaran Clark, as he was an unused substitute in the Republic of Ireland’s goalless draw with Bulgaria.
Fellow United man Jeff Hendrick, however, missed out on the game for Stephen Kenny’s men through suspension after his red card in their 1-0 defeat to Wales on Sunday.
Meanwhile, Fabian Schär missed out on another outing for Switzerland after their home game against Ukraine was called off on Tuesday.
The Nations League fixture, which would have taken place in Lucerne, was scrapped after a number of positive coronavirus tests in the Ukraine camp.
Centre back Schär did get one run-out for his country during the last fortnight, though, as he played 90 minutes in a 2-1 defeat in Belgium last Wednesday before sitting out their 1-1 draw with Spain through suspension.
Miguel Almirón’s Paraguay drew 2-2 with Bolivia in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday – but the Magpies man missed the game in Asuncion through suspension.
Almirón starred for his country in their 1-1 draw with Lionel Messi’s Argentina last week, winning a penalty for his side, but also picked up a yellow card which kept him out of Tuesday’s contest.
He, along with the rest of Newcastle’s international charges, will now return to Tyneside ahead of this Saturday’s Premier League clash with Chelsea at St. James’ Park (12:30pm kick-off).