International round-up: Successful night for Magpies quartet
Written by Tom Easterby
It was a successful night of international action for a quartet of Newcastle United players on Tuesday, with Fabian Schär, Ryan Fraser, Jeff Hendrick and Emil Krafth all helping their respective countries secure wins.
Schär’s Switzerland faced a World Cup qualifier in Lithuania, with the Magpies stopper starting for the visitors in Vilnius.
And despite his defensive role, he contributed heavily to his side’s emphatic 4-0 win by providing two assists – the first for Renato Steffen after 42 minutes, before laying on another for forward Breel Embolo just before the break.
That meant Murat Yakin’s men went in 3-0 up at the break, and a late Mario Gavranovic effort made it four in added time at the end of the contest.
Schär played the full 90 minutes, turning in an impressive display as he bids to return to the United line-up for Sunday’s Premier League game against Tottenham Hotspur.
Fraser, meanwhile, started at right wing-back for Scotland in their crucial qualifier away to the Faroe Islands.
In the end it was a tough outing for the Scots, who were held by their lowly hosts until the final ten minutes.
The 27-year-old was replaced by Nathan Patterson with seven minutes remaining, but three minutes later, the winner arrived courtesy of Lyndon Dykes after a VAR check.
The result leaves Steve Clarke’s men firmly in the hunt for a place at next year’s tournament, with a win in their next game against Moldova set to secure second place in Group F.
Hendrick’s Republic of Ireland, meanwhile, sealed a convincing 4-0 friendly win over 2022 World Cup hosts Qatar in Dublin.
The United midfielder started for Stephen Kenny’s side, who raced into a two-goal half time lead thanks to Callum Robinson’s brace.
After the break, Hendrick provided the assist for Robinson to fire home his third of the night, completing his hat-trick, before Shane Duffy’s header added extra gloss to the scoreline on the hour.
Hendrick played the full 90 minutes for his country in what was a welcome win for Kenny and his charges.
And Emil Krafth helped Sweden to victory too, as they saw off Greece with a 2-0 win in their qualifier in Solna.
Krafth lined up at right back, helping his side keep a second clean sheet in a week with a stellar 90-minute showing.
Goals from Emil Forsberg and Alexander Isak gave the hosts the win, keeping them top of Group B and two points ahead of Spain.
Jamal Lewis missed out on Northern Ireland’s 2-1 defeat in Bulgaria through suspension, while young defender Oisin McEntee wasn’t part of the Republic of Ireland Under-21 side who were beaten 2-1 in Montenegro on Tuesday.