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Monday internationals: Cuadrado gets a run-out; successes for Pasalic, Musonda at U21 level

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Juan Cuadrado may still be trying to find his feet at Chelsea, but he's got no problems getting starts and minutes for his country.  After playing all but the final few minutes of Thursday's 6-0 friendly win over Bahrain, he was part of a mostly unchanged Colombia side as they took on Kuwait in yet another friendly on Monday.  This time he only got 45 minutes though, and was one of three substitutes at half time as manager Jose Pekerman made wholesale changes.  Perhaps he was heeding instructions from Chelsea to keep the winger fresh.

There were no such playing time concerns for a certain Radamel Falcao -- Manchester United U21 will probably get on just fine without him -- and his second half goal from the penalty spot brought him level with Arnoldo Iguaran as Colombia's all-time leading scorer with 24 goals.  But while Colombia did eventually win 3-1, based on the handful of reports I've seen, it was a fairly labored, low-key performance.  Then again, most friendlies tend to be.  Cuadrado was no exception, though he did create a couple chances and generally had the better of his opposite numbers on the right wing (as one would expect against Kuwait).

Mourinho has been preaching patience with the January signing, who, albeit in limited minutes, has yet to perform up to the standards of (Chelsea-)Salah, let alone Fiorentina-Salah or Basel-Salah or Germany-Schürrle or Last-season-Schürrle.  The situation reminds a bit of Salah's arrival 14 months ago.  He did manage to show glimpses of quality towards the end of the season, so hopefully Cuadrado can settle in and do the same (and perhaps even more).

Elsewhere, young talents Mario Pašalić and Charly Musonda Jr both played key roles for their international youth teams, just like they do for their respective club sides.  Pasalic, on loan at La Liga strugglers Elche for whom he's a regular starter, grabbed a goal as Croatia U21 beat Greece U21 2-0 in a friendly.  The youngest of the Musondas impressed with an assist for Belgium U21 as they began their Euro U21 qualifying campaign with a 2-1 win over Moldova U21.  Alongside fellow highly touted prospect and common transfer rumor fodder Youri Tielemans, Charly Jr ran the show and gathered most of the post-match plaudits.

(Meanwhile, England U21 impressed with a 3-2 comeback win over Germany U21 as well, but both Nathaniel Chalobah and Patrick Bamford were missing through injury.)

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