Mykhailo Mudryk was the only Chelsea player involved in senior international games yesterday (Saturday), helping Ukraine to a 2-0 win over North Macedonia in Euro 2024 qualifying — despite the best efforts of North Macedonia goalkeeper Stole Dimitrovski, who took special pleasure in repeatedly denying our young winger in increasingly spectacular fashion.
Mudryk had 5 of Ukraine’s 18 shots on the day, but Dimitrovski first stoned him from a tight angle and then made a rather remarkable kick-save when Mudryk looked all but certain to score. And so, the game goes down as yet another “nearly” performance from Misha. When (If?) he does figure it out, and maybe (and counterintuitively) when he slows it down just a tad, he’s going to be a spectacular.
Mudryk loading… ⏳ pic.twitter.com/3QVdZbKJZ1— The Elastico CFCscout (@the_elastico) October 14, 2023
And speaking of figuring it out, I neglected to mention yesterday that Romelu Lukaku got on the scoresheet once again, this time for Belgium, and with the winning goal as it turned out, in their 3-2 triumph over Austria on Friday.
Lukaku’s goal (not longer after he was denied by the crossbar) had given Belgium a 3-goal lead, but then Austria got one back, then André Onana collected a second yellow, and then Austria got another back to make it a nervy ending for the visitors.
But Belgium would hold on, and with the win, assure themselves a spot at next summer’s Euro 2024 tournament (alongside Belgium and France and hosts Germany, Portugal have also qualified now). Lukaku has ten (10!) goals for Belgium in his last seven games since their World Cup 2022 fiasco.