Whatever Mateo Kovačić had for breakfast on Tuesday, he needs to make sure he eats the same thing before every Chelsea match as well. Our low-scoring midfielder found the back of the net not just once but twice last night against Portugal, though 10-man Croatia would still go on to lose 3-2.
Before the game, Kova had 1 goal in 62 appearances for his country. He’s tripled that in a span of just 35 minutes, by opening the scoring on the half-hour mark and then drawing his team back level at 2-2 just past the hour mark. By that time, Croatia had been reduced to 10 men, but they still managed to set up the 26-year-old for a lovely strike from distance.
After scoring just 3 goals for club and country combined following his big-money move to Real Madrid in 2015, Kovačić now has 4 goals for club and country since being coached by Frank Lampard. Maybe those shooting lessons are finally starting to pay off!
One man who doesn’t need much instructions in the art of scoring goals is Olivier Giroud, and he also found the back of the net twice on Tuesday as France took care of Sweden, 4-2, to finish top of their Nations League group.
These were international goals numbers 43 and 44, which means that Giroud is now just 7 behind Thierry Henry on the all-time list for France. Yet another reason or motivation for a move in January then?
Not to be outdone, Hakim Ziyech has continued his rich vein of form with a goal and an assist against Central African Republic yesterday as well. He put the same team to the sword with two goals and an assist in a 4-1 win last week at home; this time Morocco settled for a 2-0 away win.
Hakim Ziyech with ANOTHER goal involvement.— LDN (@LDNFootbalI) November 17, 2020
He now has 9 goals + assists in his last 5 games for club and country. Insane. pic.twitter.com/6S2N1rNp5O
Last but certainly not least, Callum Hudson-Odoi has also continued to play well on the international stage, grabbing another goal for England U21 — via a helping hand from the goalkeeper.
Elsewhere, Timo Werner played far too many minutes as Spain absolutely stomped Germany, 6-0, while Baba Rahman played a few more, more than welcome, minutes for Ghana in a 1-0 loss. Later on, Thiago Silva played the full 90 and helped keep a clean sheet for Brazil, running out 2-0 winners against Uruguay, who had Edinson Cavani sent off in the second half.