International round-up: Saliba & Balogun in action | News

William Saliba’s World Cup hopes were boosted on Thursday night as he gave an impressive performance during France’s 2-0 win over Austria in the Nations League.

Our Frenchman was subbed on in the 23rd minute by Didier Deschamps after Barcelona’s Jules Kounde suffered an early injury. Saliba ensured a clean sheet at the Stade de France, along with a 92% passing accuracy. 

He was called up to the senior French side for the first time in March this year and will be looking to impress further on Sunday against Denmark, in order to secure his place in France’s World Cup squad.

Meanwhile, striker Folarin Balogun was a second-half substitute for Rhian Brewster as England U21s overcame Italy in a friendly in Pescara. Brewster scored both of England’s goals within the first five minutes and late on in the second half, the Azzurri were reduced to ten men after Nicolo Rovella was shown a second yellow.

This was Balogun’s 12th cap for the Young Lions and he will be looking to feature again in their friendly against Germany on Tuesday.

Our under-21s defender Henry Jeffcott also made an appearance for his country on Thursday night as the Northern Irish and Scottish Under-21 sides met in Belfast for the first of two friendly clashes this September.

Northern Ireland’s Jeffcott came off the bench in the 62nd minute after the Scots were already 3-0 ahead, but he was unable to prevent his side’s 3-1 defeat. The two sides play again on Sunday afternoon.

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