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Chelsea internationals: Pulisic, Giroud score penalties for USA, France

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Chelsea players in international action on Friday

Cuba v United States - CONCACAF Nations League Photo by Scott Taetsch/Getty Images

While most eyes were on England as they slumped to a 2-1 defeat in the Czech Republic — Mason Mount started, Tammy Abraham and Ross Barkley came on as subs; Barkley, as he tends to be for England, was once quite good — over in Iceland, France took care of business 1-0 to come within a step of sealing qualification for next summer’s Euro 2020 tournament.

France’s day unfortunately began with more bad injury news for N’Golo Kanté, who was forced to pull out of the starting lineup, their day ended with Olivier Giroud scoring the only goal of the match. The Chelsea backup striker stepped up confidently after Antoine Griezmann was fouled (and then a step later realized he was fouled), scoring his 37th international goal.

Giroud was withdrawn for the final quarter of an hour, while Kurt Zouma did not get to play. Hopefully Kanté’s injury is nothing serious.

Later in the day, over in America, the US Men’s National Team took on habitual blowout-victims Cuba, and sure enough, administered a 7-0 pasting. It was Cuba’s fourth loss by at least a 6-0 scoreline since June. The final goal for the US came from Captain Christian Pulisic, also from the penalty spot.

Touchdown!

Earlier in the day, Callum Hudson-Odoi and Marc Guehi, as well as Thierno Ballo, and Ian Maatsen got minutes for England U21, Austria U19, and Netherlands U18, respectively.