25.03.2021Bayer 04

#InternationalWerkself: Tapsoba qualifies for the Africa Cup with Burkina Faso

A successful start to the international break from a Black and Red perspective. Edmond Tapsoba and Burkina Faso have qualified for the finals of the Africa Cup, Patrik Schick puts Czechia on course for victory and Lennart Grill starts with a win in the European Championship with the Germany U21s.

On Wednesday afternoon Central European Time, Werkself central defender Edmond Tapsoba played for Burkina Faso against Uganda in Group B of the Africa Cup qualifiers. The 22-year-old, who went the full 90 minutes, kept a clean sheet in Kampala along with his teammates. The goalless draw was enough to stay ahead of the other teams in the group.

Burkina Faso now have nine points from five games. As second-placed Uganda (8 points) and third-placed Malawi (7) play each other on the final matchday then the West African team with the Leverkusen player are already certain of finishing in one of the top two qualifying spots in Group B.



Tapsoba and Co. round off the international break on Monday 29 March against bottom of the table South Sudan (3 points). The kick-off in Burkina Faso's capital Ouagadougou is at 18.00 CEST.

Czechia: Schick scores, then it runs like clockwork

Having surprisingly gone behind, Werkself centre-forward Patrik Schick set Czechia on course for a convincing away win. Playing in Lublin in Poland, Estonia were the opponents for the start of the World Cup qualifiers on Wednesday night. The 'hosts' from the Baltic took an early lead (12') but Schick responded just six minutes later: From a cross from the right, the Leverkusen striker shook off his marker and scored with a volley.

The Czechs then lived up to their role as favourites – and the Werkself player had a big part in that. Schick shone as the provider for the goal is to make it 2-1 (27') and 4-1 (43'). The game was over for the man of the match with ten minutes to play with the scoreboard showing the final score of 6-2.


The Czechs have two qualifiers still to play: The first match on Saturday 27 March (kick-off: 20.45 CET) is against Belgium in Prague. Three days later, they are away to Wales in Cardiff with the kick off again at 20.45 CEST. Schick will only play in the second match as Bayer 04 international players are not allowed to play in so-called 'virus variant areas'– that currently includes the Czech capital Prague.

U21: Perfect European Championships start

It can happily carry on like this. The Germany U21 side started in the European Championships on Wednesday night. The team under coach Stefan Kuntz faced one of the two hosts Hungary in Székesfehérvár. It took an hour before Anderlecht's Lukas Nmecha put the dominant Germany team in the lead. That solved the logjam: Ridle Baku from VfL Wolfsburg netted a brace (66', 73 ') final result of a deserved 3-0 win. Bayer 04 goalkeeper Lennart Grill watched proceedings from the bench as Kuntz opted to play the Mainz keeper Finn Dahmen.



Germany have another two matches to play in Group A: On Saturday night, 27 March (kick-off: 21.00 CET/live on ProSieben) the Netherlands provide the opposition. The Dutch junior side surprisingly dropped points in their opening fixture with a 1-1 draw against Romania. Germany will then play Romania three days later.

If Grill and Co. finish first or second after three matches then they will progress to the knockout rounds. They will be played from 31 May to 6 June. That will involve the teams finishing first and second in the four qualifying groups.

Two Leverkusen players in Germany squad

Three other Bayer 04 players start the international break on Thursday night. Jonathan Tah and Germany debutant Florian Wirtz face Iceland in Duisburg. The group match kicks off at 20.45 CET and will be broadcast live on RTL and DAZN. The match will take place as planned despite a case of coronavirus within the Germany squad. The test on the unnamed player was positive. The asymptomatic player will immediately self-isolate. "The game will definitely be played," confirmed DFB spokesperson Jens Grittner.

Austria play their match at the same time as Germany. The team including Werkself stalwart Aleksandar Dragovic play Scotland in Glasgow. 'Drago' can also be seen on DAZN.

The remaining international fixtures involving Werkself players:

Jonathan Tah and Florian Wirtz (Germany):
Thursday, 25 March (20.45 CET, Duisburg): Germany v Iceland (World Cup qualifier, Group J)
Sunday, 28 March (20.45 CEST, Bucharest): Rumania v Germany (World Cup qualifier, Group J)
Wednesday, 31 March (20.45 CEST, Duisburg): Germany v North Macedonia (World Cup qualifier, Group J)

Lennart Grill (Germany U21):
Saturday, 27 March (21.00 CET, Székesfehérvár): Germany U21 v Netherlands U21 (Euros, group stage)
Tuesday, 30 March (18.00 CEST, Budapest): Germany U21 v Romania U21 (Euros, group stage)

Aleksandar Dragovic (Austria):
Thursday, 25 March (20.45 CET, Glasgow): Scotland v Austria (World Cup qualifier, Group F)
Sunday, 28 March (20.45 CEST, Vienna): Austria v Faroe Islands (World Cup qualifier, Group F)
Wednesday, 31 March (20.45 CEST, Vienna): Austria v Denmark (World Cup qualifier, Group F)

Patrik Schick (Czechia):
Tuesday, 30 March (20.45 CEST, Cardiff): Wales v Czechia (World Cup qualifier, Group)

Edmond Tapsoba (Burkina Faso):
Monday, 29 March (18.00 CET, Ouagadougou): Burkina Faso v South Sudan (Africa Cup qualifier, Group B)

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