Friday, September 04, 2015

Trio of Caps for Sporting Players

With the international break upon us, all three Sporting KC players called up to their senior national team earned caps in their first game of the FIFA international window.

Early in the day Krisztian Nemeth and Hungary faced off in Budapest against group leaders, Romania. Sitting in third place a win really would have allowed Hungary to put pressure on Romania and Northern Ireland heading into the final three match days. Nemeth started the game on the bench but came on in the 70th minute for his 18th cap and third with KC, to try to spark his team to a late victory. Unfortunately the Hungarians couldn't find a goal and ended up with a 0-0 draw against the Romanians. That result along with a win by Northern Ireland over the Faroe Islands leaves Hungary three points out of an automatic spot in the tournament. They now travel to Northern Ireland to play the new group leaders on Monday. A win by Northern Ireland would not only qualify Northern Ireland for the Euros, it would basically guarantee that Hungary would finish no better than third in the group, meaning a likely qualifier to attempt to get to the Euros.

In the evening Matt Besler and Marcel de Jong both made appearances for their respective countries. De Jong and Canada hosted Belize in their third round World Cup qualifier. The Sporting left sided defender and winger started at left back for Canada and was extremely involved in Canada's attack as they pushed the game a lot against a team that really didn't seem interested in attacking much. The Canadians scored once in the first half, a second just after the hour mark and a third in stoppage time that should be enough when the team travels to Belize early next week to carry Canada through to the next round.

In the only friendly of the three, Sporting's captain Besler started on the bench for the United States against Peru. After a lack luster first half by both teams that saw Peru grab the lead off a deflected shot, the US came out for the second half and played better. Jozy Altidore got the US level just before the hour after a penalty kick. Altidore's penalty was blocked but the rebound came right back to him and he put it away to level the game. Shortly after that Besler came onto the field and played the final 28 minutes for the US. Besler did well for the US keeping the score level until the 68th when Altidore got his second of the game after a cross by Gyasi Zardes got deflected to Altidore unmarked at the back post and scored. Besler earned his 26th cap, tied for the fourth most while a member of KC.

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