Royals front man Yakou Méïté received his first international cap as he started for Ivory Coast against Liberia on Tuesday – spearheading the attack as his side came away 1-0 victors that afternoon.
The friendly against Liberia marked Méïté’s first taste of senior football on the international stage, having turned out for the Ivorian U23s and U17s outfits in the past. He played 73 minutes on his debut before making way for Aston Villa’s Jonathan Kodjia, who went on to score the game’s only goal.
Yakou and his teammates can now focus on a summer of competitive football for their nation, having played their final qualifying match earlier last week against Rwanda, winning 3-0.
Matt Miazga was in centre-back action for the United States on the other side of the globe as they faced reigning Copa America Champions, Chile in a friendly affair in Texas.
On-loan Chelsea winger, Christian Pulisic scored inside four minutes for the hosts before Oscar Opazo equalized for Chile five minutes later, the only goals in a 1-1 stalemate for Gregg Berhalter’s side.
It was Miazga’s twelfth cap for the USA, and he was an unused substitute when they beat Ecuador 1-0 in Florida on Thursday night.
Moving closer to home and Danny Loader was in action for England U19s as they faced Denmark at St. Georges Park. A win for the Young Lions and for Czech Republic to avoid defeat to Greece would secure a place in the U19 Euro Finals in Armenia.
Loader played the full 90 minutes as Keith Downing’s side twice came from behind to equalize against the Danes.
The woodwork agonizingly denied the Reading Academy graduate a late winner and with the match ending in a 2-2 draw, it’s the Czech Republic who will travel to Armenia in the summer thanks to a 3-1 win against Greece.
Anssi Jaakkola was also an unused sub for Finland as they secured a 2-0 win against hosts Armenia in their European Championship’s qualification match-up on Tuesday evening. The Finns currently sit fourth in Group J with three points.
With the international break all but complete, focus for the Royals now lies ahead to Saturday’s vital match against Preston North End at Madejski Stadium – make sure you’re there to cheer on Jose Gomes’ men.
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