Less than a week to go until the next Chelsea match. Still a good ways away then. So let's see what our boys who are away on international duty were up to on Sunday. Maybe that'll tide us over for another day.
Nigeria, intent on producing something less hilariously inpet than their efforts against Uganda, kicked us off, with Kenneth Omeruo getting another start at center back. While Nigeria did manage a 1-1 draw, conceding a late equalizer, unfortunately for the Chelsea loanee, his day lasted all of 13 minutes.
I haven't seen any official confirmation or diagnosis, but with Omeruo already struggling for playing time at Middlesbrough lately, this is certainly not good news. Boro recently signed further short-term loan reinforcements as well (Dwight Tiendalli and Fernando Amorebieta), increasing competition for both Omeruo and fellow Chelsea loanee Tomas Kalas (who has played both center and right back).
There was better news for another young defender. After two 90-minute bench stints, Kurt Zouma finally got to make his first senior appearance for France, replacing Morgan Schneiderlin for the final 10 minutes against Denmark in a friendly. Congrats, Mr. Happy!
There were further substitute appearances for a couple of our Brazilians. Dunga chose to rotate his starting lineup fairly heavily from Thursday, which meant that for the first time since he's taken over, he did not start any one of Willian, Oscar, or Filipe Luis. While Oscar also finished the game on the bench, Willian did get on for the final half hour, while Filipe Luis got the final fifteen, replacing Marcelo after Brazil had finally taken the lead against Chile. Roberto Firmino's goal was enough to keep Dunga a perfect eight-for-eight in his second stint as Brazil head coach.
Lastly, both Branislav Ivanovic (captain) and Nemanja Matic started for Serbia as they took on Ricardo Carvalho, Jose Bosingwa, and the rest of Portugal in Lisbon. While Matic did score a rather stellar goal, it was Portugal who emerged victorious. The 2-1 loss leaves Serbia with just 1 point from 4 games. They have 4 games to make up a 6-point deficit to reach at least the playoffs for Euro 2016 qualification.