RANGERS had a plethora of players away on international duty over the last week, and here, we take a look at how they got on with their respective nations.
With Russell Martin pulling out of the squad, Rangers were left with two players in the fold for their friendly defeat to Costa Rica at Hampden on Friday night, and their win away to Hungary last night.
Jamie Murphy was a late sub for Matt Ritchie in the clash against the Central Americans, while Jason Cummings was an injury-time replacement for Callum McGregor in Budapest, where Scotland won 1-0 thanks to a Matt Phillips goal.
Rangers were represented by Greg Docherty, Ryan Hardie and Liam Burt in the Scot’s squad for their European qualifier away to Andorra on Friday. Both Docherty and Hardie started the match, but the Scots were held to a disappointing 1-1 draw by the tiny nation, needing an injury-time goal from Lewis Morgan.
Rangers had no less than SEVEN players in the Scotland under-19 squad for their Elite Qualifying round ties against Germany, Holland and Norway. Each of Aidan McAdams, Kieran Wright, Aidan Wilson, Matty Shiels, Glenn Middleton, Zak Rudden and Jamie Barjonas played a role in the three matches, but their quest to qualify for this summer’s final tournament ended in disappointment.
Their opening game ended 3-0 to Germany, with Wright, Wilson, Barjonas and Shiels all starting, while Middleton and Rudden were used from the bench. Game two was an impressive 2-0 defeat of Holland, with Jack Aitchison netting twice. McAdams, Wilson and Middleton started that one, with Shiels coming off the bench.
The final clash was against Norway, with Scotland needing a win to qualify. Despite trailing 2-0, they pulled it back to 4-2 before falling to an eventual 5-4 defeat. Middleton started and netted twice in this one, with Wright, Wilson and Shiels also starting. Rudden was used late-on from the bench.
Similarly to the under-19s, Scotland’s under-17s were aiming to qualify for their age group tournament in the summer. Defeats to Greece and Norway ended their hopes of progression, although they earned an impressive 1-0 win over Germany in their final game, with both Rangers players in the squad combining for the goal.
Nathan Patterson’s assist was converted by attacker Dapo Mebude to hand the young Scots a major confidence-booster.
Lee Hodson was an unused substitute as Northern Ireland earned a great 2-1 win over World Cup-bound South Korea in Belfast on Saturday. Kwon Chang-Hoon handed the visitors an early lead, but the Ulstermen fought back through a Kim Min-Jae own goal, and a late Paul Smyth strike.
NORTHERN IRELAND U21
Jordan Thompson played in both of Northern Ireland’s qualifying matches with Spain and Iceland over the weekend. After equalising three times against the Spanish, they were eventually beaten 5-3 before being held to a 0-0 draw with Iceland last night.
Declan John played in both of Wales’ China Cup matches and impressed greatly. The Welsh defeated the hosts in their opening match 6-0 with Gareth Bale grabbing a hat-trick. The final of the tournament was against a top-drawer Uruguay side, with Wales unlucky to be beaten 1-0.
Bruno Alves played the full 90 minutes of Portugal’s 2-1 win over Egypt on Friday night, where they needed two Cristiano Ronaldo goals in injury-time for the victory. He was then on the bench on Monday night as they suffered a shock 3-0 reverse to the Netherlands in Geneva.
After being an unused sub for Malta in their 1-0 defeat to Luxembourg on Thursday night, Myles Beerman was given the second 45 minutes of their 5-0 hammering at the hands of Finland on Monday