While the Azzurri dropped a 3-0 decision to Spain at the Bernabau last weekend, other international teams got more out of the international break.
Luxembourg earned a stunning 0-0 draw with France and the U.S. dropped a loss to Costa Rica over the weekend. Those were likely the biggest headlines of the international break, but some Inter Milan players were able to shine for their respective nations during the break as well.
Milan Skriniar – Slovakia
The new defender played all 90 minutes of Slovakia’s 1-0 win over Slovenia in Trnava last weekend. The win moved the akia’s into second place in Group F.
On the final day of international play, Skriniar played all 90 minutes in Slovakia’s 2-1 loss to England. He picked up a yellow card in the 70th minute of the loss after Eric Dier and Marcus Rashford put the Three Lions up for good at Wembley.
Slovakia is in second in the group, five points behind England and one point clear of Slovenia.
Joao Mario and Joao Cancelo — Portugal
A second-half goal by André Silva pushed Portugal to a 1-0 win over Hungary as Inter midfielder Joao Mario played all 90 minutes of the win. Cancelo sat out the international break with an injury and is expected to be out for Inter’s game with SPAL on Saturday.
In the first game for the Portuguese during the break, Mario played around 60 minutes and earned a penalty to help lead the squad to a 5-0 win over the Faroe Islands in Porto.
Portugal sits three points behind Group B-leading Switzerland.
Ivan Perisic and Marcelo Brozovic — Croatia
Rain pounded the stadium in Zagreb forcing the game between Croatia and Kosovo to be postponed by a day. It didn’t matter much as Domagoj Vida found the back of the net in the 74th minute to push Croatia two points clear of Ukraine in Group I.
Two days later, Perisic and Brozovic played as Croatia dropped a 1-0 decision away to Turkey in Eskisehir. The loss coupled with Iceland’s result dropped Croatia into a tie with Iceland in the group.
Mauro Icardi — Argentina
Icardi squared off the new teammate Matias Vecino of Uruguay as the two South American teams battled to a 0-0 draw on Aug. 31 in Montevideo.
In Argentina’s second game of the break, Icardi had a shot at goal with a header that was blocked out in a 1-1 draw with last-place Venezuela. An own-goal by Mikel Villanueva in the 54th minute preserved a point for the Argentinians who moved into a tie with Peru for the fourth and final qualifying spot out of CONMEBOL.
Venezuela managed five yellow cards to Argentina’s three in the game.
Matias Vecino — Uruguay
Vecino played all 90 minutes in his country’s 0-0 draw with Icardi’s Argentina.
Vecino also featured in Uruguay’s 2-0 win over Paraguay. Gustavo Gómez scored an own-goal and Federico Valverde scored late in the second half for Uruguay. Ángel Romero pulled a goal back for Paraguay in the 88th minute.
The Uruguayans jumped over Columbia and into second-place in the group with the win and 11 back of group-leading Brazil.
Yuto Nagatomo — Japan
Japan punched their ticket to Russia in 2018 after a 2-0 win over Australia on the first night of international play. Nagatomo played all 90 minutes on defense and notched an assist for Japan’s first goal of the game in Saitama.
Nagatomo also played in Japan’s 1-0 loss at Saudi Arabia on the final day of international play. Despite the loss, Japan remained atop Group B in the Asian Football Confederation standings.
Antonio Candreva, Danilo D’Ambrosio and Éder — Italy
Candreva started in Italy’s 1-0 win over Israel as Ciro Immobile found the net in the 53rd minute for the Azzurri. The win made up for a 3-0 defeat to Spain earlier in the break at the Bernabau.
Candreva earned the start against Spain before being substituted by Federico Bernardeschi. Éder came in the game for Andrea Belotti. D’Ambrosio was a substitute in both games for the Azzurri.
“We needed a win today and got it,” Candreva told RAI after the game against Israel. “We’ve worked consistently for an entire year. These are games where you need to score early in order to calm down but the result is positive and what we wanted. Critics are part of our work but we’re a tight group, we look for support from everyone because we’re a national team which has done great things. I think that we put in a good effort today after the game in Madrid.”
Italy remains three points back of La Roja in Group G.
Joao Miranda — Brazil
Miranda played the entire first half in Brazil’s 2-0 win over Ecuador. Liverpool’s Philipe Coutinho scored as a substitute against Ecuador. The win put Brazil squarely in the driver’s seat in CONMEBOL with 36 points.
Brazil followed up its win over Ecuador with a 1-1 draw with Columbia. Miranda was not featured in the final game of the break. He returned to Rozzano to undergo tests at the Istituto Humanitas where the results were negative. The team reported he was made immediately available to Spalletti for practice.