No more World Cup games to recap but definitely some international matches around the globe involving our beloved Magpies. That’s because we’re in the middle of the last in-season international break of the campaign, bringing friendlies and EURO qualifiers to the table.
Of course, this being Newcastle, a bunch of players have and will be involved in matchups during the past and upcoming days before either 1) attending a warm-weather camp or 2) returning to Tyneside to start training ahead of the clash against Man Red on April 2nd.
Here’s a recap of all that went on Sunday, Mar. 26th, with more updates to come in the following days as games keep getting played throughout the final international break before the season ends in late May.
Martin Dubravka (Slovakia)
Match: SLO vs Bosnia (Euro 2024 Qualifier)
Slovakia defeated Bosnia 2-0 and recovered from their MD1 draw with Luxembourg, thus finishing the break and first two games of their qualifiers run with four points and sitting second in their group only trailing Portugal with six points.
Dubravka played a perfect match, ended up with a clean sheet, and only had to save one ball all game long. He wasn’t incredible with his feet, completing only 70% of the 30 passes he attempted, and just three of the 12 long balls he launched forward from his area.
Dubby returns to Tyneside, where his situation is much more precarious playing second fiddle—read: perennial pine rider—to Nick Pope in Newcastle’s pecking order.
Jamal Lewis (Northern Ireland)
Match: NIR vs Finland (Euro 2024 Qualifier)
Northern Ireland’s manager Michael O’Neill trusted Newcastle’s defensive midfielder Jamal Lewis for the second time in as many games played and the lad delivered a full 90-minute outing in which he couldn’t help his nation overcome Finland in a 0-1 loss at Windsor Park in Belfast.
Benjamin Kallman scored the only goal of the game assisted by Teemu Pukki in the 28th minute and nothing changed for the remaining 62 minutes.
Lewis completed 19-of-25 passes but his lone shot went off target and came late, just three minutes from reaching the 90th minute and off a corner kick. The 25-year-old midfielder won two of the three tackles he attempted on the day, also completing one dribble through the match and winning half of the duels he entered—six of 12 against Ukrainian men.
Kieran Trippier (England)
Match: ENG vs Ukraine (Euro 2024 Qualifier)
Kieran Trippier enjoyed a good view of this one from the home bench of Wembley as coach Southgate decided to rest the Newcastle right-back.
Can’t complain, considering any and every rest our lads can get will be very welcomed through the home stretch of the campaign.
England still fielded a hella strong squad and saw Ukraine off beating the visitors 2-0 with goals by Harry Kane (seemingly in celebration of Antonio Conte’s departure from Tottenham) and Bukayo Saka, who assisted Kane on his goal.
Jordan Henderson assisted Saka and everybody went home happy.
No more international games for the Three Lions through this break, with all men involved in the concentration expected to return to their clubs through the remainder of the week with the Premier League coming back on Saturday featuring a spicy Man City v. Liverpool at lunchtime.