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Internationals | Doherty and Ait-Nouri feature


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Both Rayan Ait-Nouri and Matt Doherty were in international action over the weekend, with four other members of Gary O’Neil’s side remaining on the bench for their countries.

Ait-Nouri played the full 90 minutes to help Algeria to a 2-0 World Cup qualifying victory over Mozambique on Sunday, while the previous day Doherty started in the Republic of Ireland’s narrow 1-0 reverse to the Netherlands.

Portugal duo Jose Sa and Toti couldn’t add to their debuts when they faced Iceland, with both remaining on the bench, likewise for Mario Lemina with Gabon and goalkeeper Tom King, who was unused in Wales’ draw in Armenia.

Rayan Ait-Nouri | Mozambique 0-2 Algeria

Ait-Nouri made it cap number four for Algeria on Sunday, as his nation made the perfect start to their World Cup qualification process. The Wolves man was an unused substitute in the opening day win over Somalia but played the full 90 in the Mozambique success. The goals arrived in the second half, courtesy of Fares Chaibi and Ramiz Zerrouki, and Algeria now top their group, which also features Guinea, Botswana and Uganda. The win concluded the international period for Ait-Nouri, who can now return to Molineux.

Matt Doherty | Netherland 1-0 Republic of Ireland

The Republic of Ireland signed off from a disappointing, and ultimately unsuccessful, qualification process for Euro 2024 with a 1-0 loss in Amsterdam. Wolves man Doherty started and played 77 minutes at right-wing-back, but the Irish lost to an 11th minute Wout Weghorst strike. The defeat meant Ireland earned just six points in qualifying, all against bottom side Gibraltar. They do play again on Tuesday night in a friendly however, as New Zealand visit Dublin.

Jose Sa & Toti | Portugal 2-0 Iceland

Both Sa and Toti made their international debuts last week but had a watching brief as Portugal’s Euro 2024 qualification campaign ended on the perfect note. Bruno Fernandes and Ricardo Horta scored either side of half-time against Iceland, meaning Portugal won all ten of their qualifying matches under Roberto Martinez. Their qualification campaign is now over, meaning Sa and Toti can make their return.

Mario Lemina | Burundi 1-2 Gabon

Lemina was also an unused substitute as Gabon continued their perfect start to World Cup qualification. Jim Allevinah and Denis Bouanga found the back of the net as Gabon defeated Burundi 2-1, just days after starting the campaign with a win over Kenya. Their qualification group also included Ivory Coast, Gambia and Seychelles.

Tom King | Armenia 1-1 Wales

King was an unused substitute as Wales saw their Euro 2024 hopes dealt a blow in Armenia. Robert Page’s side knew victory in Armena would leave automatic qualification in their hands but were held to a 1-1 draw. Having fallen behind after five minutes, Wales equalised through a Nair Tiknizyan own goal, but couldn’t force the winner. They must now beak leaders Turkey on Tuesday and hope Croatia drop points against Armenia.

Coming up…

Hee Chan Hwang, who was once again on target last time out, now turns his attention to a World Cup qualifier in China, while Sasa Kalajdzic will hope for some more international minutes when Austria face Germany in a friendly. Doherty and King’s countries are also in action on Tuesday, as Ireland face New Zealand and Wales take on Turkey in that crucial qualifier. Fabio Silva and Portugal under-21s face Greece on Monday.

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