Victories for both Canada and Finland, not to mention a solid point on the road for Algeria, means that all three Impact players selected by their respective national sides will return to Montreal with a smile on their face. New to this international break is a new qualification phase following the World Cup: The League of Nations of numerous continental associations will largely replace international friendlies.
Canada 8-0 US Virgin Islands
Concacaf Nations League qualifying
This decisive victory represents a record for the national selection: it’s their biggest victory since 2011, when the Reds had beaten Saint Lucia 7-0. Samuel Piette played a full 90 minutes as a defensive midfielder in front of an absolutely unusual two-man defense – yes, you ready that right. In his first game as head coach of the Men’s national team, John Herdman opted for a 2-5-3 formation which, despite being surprising, ended up paying dividends. Also noteworthy were youngsters Jonathan David and Derek Corneluis making their debut for Canada.
Hungary 0-1 Finland
Finland v Estonia, Tuesday, September 11 at 8:45pm in Turku
UEFA Nations League C
90 minutes for Jukka Raitala as well on Saturday against Hungary. The Finns triumphed 1-0 against the Hungarians thanks to a quick goal from Teemu Pukki, striker for Norwich City, and a solid defensive performance to follow. Once again, Raitala displayed his versatility by playing in the right-back position.
The Gambia 1-1 Algeria
Africa Cup of Nations qualifying
Despite Algeria going into this one as a favorite, a draw is satisfying considering the circumstances. An imposing crowd made the trip to Independence Stadium in Bakau, causing a delay for a few hours. Saphir Taïder still played all 90 minutes for the Fennecs.