7.09.2016Bayer 04

Mehmedi and Calhanoglu score in World Cup qualifiers

There is only one subject for discussion in Swiss football this week: the 2-0 victory over Euro 2016 winners Portugal and a wonder goal from Admir Mehmedi.
© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

Haris Seferovic put the ball into the middle on 30 minutes and the Leverkusen pro took aim. Mehmedi's shot flew into the top of the net at the far post and he was immediately mobbed by his teammates. A wonder strike that sealed a deserved win in the World Cup qualifier.

And Hakan Calhanoglu proved reliable yet again. In added time at the end of the first half in Zagreb the Turkey midfielder placed the ball, took a short run-up and fired the ball into the back of the net. Luck was on Hakan's side as is effort was deflected but the strike was enough to secure a 1-1 draw in Croatia and appoint in the opening game of World Cup Qualification Group I. Calhanoglu's Leverkusen teammate Tin Jedvaj spent 90 minutes on the subs bench for Croatia.

As both the other two matches in the group also ended all square at 1-1 there are six teams at the bottom or at the top of the group. One of these games took place in Turku in Finland where Joel Pohjanpalo lined up for his country against newcomers Kosovo. Pohjanpalo played the full 90 minutes.

Vladlen Yurchenko is still waiting for his debut after his first call-up for the senior Ukraine team due to injury. Without him in the squad Ukraine were only able to secure a 1-1 draw against Iceland, the surprise team at Euro 2016. The group will prove to be interesting given there are four Leverkusen players involved.

Julian Baumgartlinger celebrated a special debut: The 28-year-old captained Austria for the first time on Monday night and he put on an impressive display in defensive midfield alongside David Alaba. Austria ended up winning 2-1 in Georgia with new Leverkusen signing Aleksandar Dragovic also playing the full game. Goalkeeper Ramazan Özcan was on the bench.

A Werkself youngster was in action on Monday night when defender Joel Abu Hanna came off the bench on 58 minutes in the 2-1 defeat for the Germany U19's against Netherlands.

Other matches on Tuesday

Robbie Kruse was in the Australia line-up against the United Arab Emirates as the Socceroos earned a deserved 1-0 win in the World Cup qualifier. Kruse went off in the closing minutes after producing an impressive performance. Charles Aránguiz was in the Chile side as La Roja played out a 0-0 draw with Bolivia. Benny Henrichs was in the Germany U21 squad for the 1-0 win away to Finland but he did not play in the match.

© Bayer 04 Leverkusen Fussball GmbH

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