Three senior and many more players aged 21 and under were involved in various international matches on Friday. All but Andreas Christensen and Mario Pašalicć came away winners, with Christensen's Denmark U21 getting held at home by Iceland U21 0-0 and Pašalić's Croatia U21 losing 2-1 to England U21. In the same match, Lewis Baker and Patrick Bamford (England U21) and Matej Delač and Stipe Perica (Croatia U21) all went as unused substitutes.
Other Chelsea players involved at the under-21 level included Tomáš Kalas (Ukraine U21 0-1 Czech Republic U21), Kurt Zouma (France U21 2-0 Sweden U21). Meanwhile, a quartet of Chelsea players contributed to England U19's comprehensive 3-0 win away to Belarus U19. Ruben Loftus-Cheek scored a goal (Izzy Brown with the assist), while both Ola Aina and Charlie Colkett featured at some point. Alex Kiwomya apparently was on the bench, even though he was not on initial call-up list to the squad. Unfortunately, no video of RLC's goal has surfaced yet.
We do however have video of Mohamed Salah's goal, the second on the night for Egypt who finally got a much-needed win (and their first goals) in the ACN qualifying groups. Salah was his usual self otherwise, promising plenty of threat and excitement, but often producing very little with his final ball or shot. Actually, here are the full highlights, as Egypt's first goal, from Mohamed El-Nenny (you may remember him as the other Egyptian at FC Basel) was quite nice. Top corner? Pick that one out.
Lastly, we had wins for both of our internationally active senior goalkeepers. Thibaut Courtois, looking no worse for the wear from his collision on the weekend, observed his teammates fire Belgium to a record-equaling 6-0 win over Andorra. Apparently the minnows even got two shots on target, so Courtois wasn't a complete bystander, technically. Ex-Chelsea Kevin De Bruyne scored the first two for the Red Devils.
Petr Čech meanwhile backstopped the Czech Republic to an excellent 2-1 win in Istanbul even though it looked like the hosts would absolutely blow the Czechs away in the first half. They scored with a well-taken header after just 7 minutes but rather poor finishing from that point forward combined with solid play from the Chelsea goalkeeper kept the Czechs in the game. Tomáš Sivok headed home an equalizer against the run of the play in the first half after some fatally poor marking on a corner -- his celebrations muted since he plays his club football at Besiktas -- while Borek Dočkal grabbed the winner early on in the second half after some excellent work by young right back Pavel Kaderábek. It was a much better performance from the 22-year-old than last time out and it was a much more even game overall after the interval. Suddenly, the Czechs are sitting hopeful and pretty at the top of their qualifying group that also includes the Netherlands and Iceland (and a couple more inconsequentials).