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International round-up | Pușcaș gives Spain a scare

Royals on duty at the start of a busy period for international football

6 September 2019

Royals striker George Pușcaș impressed in Romania colours last night and so nearly earned his country a point against a Spain side with a 100% record so far in Group F.

Pușcaș played the full 90 minutes in front of more than 50,000 in Bucharest last night and it took a superb last-minute save from Chelsea's Kepa Arrizabalaga to keep the Royals frontman's header out with his legs.

Sergio Ramos had put Spain ahead from the penalty spot before Paco Alcacer made it 2-0. But Florin Andone pulled one back just before the hour and Pușcaș so nearly made it 2-2 in the dying stages after defender Diego Llorente had been sent off in the Arena Națională.

Romania now look to be in a real battle with Sweden and Norway to try to follow Spain into qualifying for Euro 2020.

Pușcaș was one onf a number of Royals who have been in action for their nations already at the start of a busy few days of international football.

Pelé was the first to represent his country when he played 67 minutes for Guinea Bissau - their first fixture since bowing out of the African Cup of Nations in the summer.

His country secured a slender victory over São Tomé, an island nation in the Gulf of Guinea. Leading the line for Guinea Bissau was former Royal Joseph Mendes, but it took an 85th minute penalty from Maritimo defender Nanu to secure the away win - Guinea Bissau now face the same opponents at home next week.

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Young midfielder Jordan Holsgrove meanwhile put in a man of the match performance for Scot Gemmill's Scotland Under-21s as they started their Euro 2021 qualification bid with a 2-0 win over San Marino.

It was Holsgrove who forced a break in the deadlock when his cross was sliced into the net by San Marino defender Alessandro Tosi and Glenn Middleton made sure of the win at the Simple Digital Arena in Paisley.

Danny Loader played above his age level to represent England's Under-20s last night, coming off the bench for Ryan Giles in a goalless affair against the Netherlands.

Manager Keith Downing brought Loader on in the second half of his first game in charge and our Under-20s finished strongly but had to settle for 0-0 at New Meadow.

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Elsewhere, goalkeeper João Virginia was an unused substitute for Portugal's Under-21s as Diogo Costa stood between the sticks in a 4-0 victory over Gibraltar.

And Academy youngster Kian Leavy was named on the bench for the Republic of Ireland Under-18s, the Irish falling to a 4-0 defeat to Austria in the first of a three-game tournament in Sweden.


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