International friendlies, Euro Qualifiers fill void of breaks in League Play

United States midfielder Christian Pulisic celebrates his during the first half of an international friendly soccer match against Chile, Tuesday, March 26, 2019, in Houston. (AP Photo/Eric Christian Smith)

No games were played in any major European League this week. However, there was plenty of action during the International break as star players suited up to represent their countries rather than their clubs in both friendly matches and UEFA European qualifiers.

International friendlies

The United States earned a 1-1 draw with Chile thanks to an early Christian Pulisic goal at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas on Tuesday night. The young Borussia Dortmund star latched onto a well-played through ball from L.A. Galaxy forward Gyasi Zardes and lofted a delicate chip over Chilean goalkeeper Gabriel Arias to open the scoring in the fourth minute, but was substituted off with an injury before halftime. Chile equalized thanks to an Oscar Opazo goal just five minutes later and dominated play in terms of possession and scoring chances for the remainder of the match, but were unable to pull ahead. The draw represents a solid result for the U.S, who used an extremely young lineup and played without Pulisic for much of the game against a strong Chilean side that featured stars Arturo Vidal and Gary Medel.

L.A. Galaxy midfielder Jonathon dos Santos and West Ham striker Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernandez each scored in the first half as Mexico defeated Paraguay 4-2 on Tuesday. Mexico led 3-0 at halftime and were able to add a fourth insurance goal in stoppage time after Paraguay cut into El Tri’s lead with a pair of second half goals at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California.

After Czech Republic took an early 1-0 lead from a 37th minute David Pavelka goal, Brazil responded as Liverpool ace Roberto Firmino leveled the score shortly after halftime, and Manchester City forward Gabriel Jesus added a pair of late goals to secure the victory for the five time World Cup champions at Sinobo Stadium in Prague on Tuesday.

UEFA European Championship Qualifiers: Round 2

Defending Euro champion Portugal overcame an early deficit to draw Serbia 1-1 at Estadio da Luz in Lisbon. Ajax star Dusan Tadic opened the scoring with a penalty in the seventh minute, but Porto midfielder Danilo Pereira scored in the 42nd minute to level the score. Portugal held a 28-10 advantage in shots and owned 70 percent of the game’s possession, but were unable to break the deadlock. Superstar forward Cristiano Ronaldo pulled up gimpy and had to be substituted off with an unknown injury just before halftime. His club Juventus open their Champions League Quarterfinal matchup in just two weeks.

Forward Fabio Quagliarella scored a pair of first half penalties and Italy cruised to a 6-0 win over Liechtenstein at the Stadio Ennio Tardini in Parma, Italy on Tuesday. The Azzuri took a whopping 41 shots and owned possession at a nearly 80 percent rate.

Norway and Sweden fought to a 3-3 draw on Tuesday at the Ullevaal Stadium in a match which saw four goals scored after the 70th minute. Bournemouth forward Joshua King scored to give Norway a 2-0 lead, but Sweden stormed back and took the lead with three goals in the final 20 minutes. Ola Kamara rescued a point for Norway with a goal six minutes into stoppage time.

Denmark roared back from a 3-0 deficit after scoring three goals after the 80th minute to earn a draw with Switzerland at St. Jakob-Park in Basel on Tuesday. Remo Frueler (19’), Arsenal’s Granit Xhaka (66’) and Breel Embolo (76’) gave Switzerland a three goal lead before Mathias Jorgensen, Christian Gytkjaer and Henrik Dalsgaard notched late goals to tie the game for Denmark.

Striker Alvaro Morata scored on each side of the halftime break as Spain defeated Malta 2-0 in Ta’ Qali on Tuesday. Spain took 23 shots and controlled 84 percent of the possession.


Story Salit is a campus correspondent for The Daily Campus and can be reached via email at story.salit@uconn.edu.