Belgium began the week of senior international action for Chelsea players with a friendly in Brussels. However the side that enjoyed such an impressive qualification campaign for the World Cup in Brazil, lost to South American opposition.
Eden Hazard and Kevin De Bruyne started the game against Colombia who won 2-0 with second-half goals from Radamel Falcao and Segundo Ibarbo. Romelu Lukaku replaced De Bruyne on 58 minutes with Hazard withdrawn after 66 minutes. Thibaut Courtois remained on the bench.
Nathaniel Chalobah started England Under-21s’ qualifier win against Finland on Thursday night, a victory which keeps them on course for the 2015 European Championship finals.
The 18-year-old midfielder played 63 minutes of the 3-0 win at Milton Keynes with goals from Man United’s Michael Keane and two from West Brom’s Saido Berahino.
Having only dropped two points in five games, the side coached by Gareth Southgate and our own Steve Holland lead their group by three points from Wales with a game in hand.
Nathan Ake played left-back for Netherlands Under-21s in an away qualifier in Slovakia. The 2-2 draw in which the Dutch played the last 10 minutes with 10 men, keeps them at the top of their group on goal difference from tonight’s opponents.
At Under-19 level, three Chelsea players saw action in England’s away win in a friendly in Hungary.
The final score was 4-1 with Lewis Baker and Ola Aina starting, the latter replaced by John Swift with 15 minutes left. Goalkeeper Mitchell Beeney, in such good form for Chelsea Under-19s in the UEFA Youth League last week, remained on the bench.
The big win for England Under-19s keeps an impressive run of form going. They are unbeaten for a year and last month earned a place in the elite qualification round for next summer’s European Championships which will be held in Hungary. The qualification games are in May.
Last week, Chelsea schoolboy defender Ali Suljic played for Sweden in the third/fourth-place play-off at the FIFA Under-17 World Cup. Sweden won 4-1 against Argentina. Suljic featured in the group games but had been on the bench throughout the knockout stages as the Swedes lost to eventual winners Nigeria in the semi-finals. Chelsea midfielder Isak Ssewankambo had his campaign for Sweden cut short by injury.