Noni Madueke impressed in his first game, had a slightly more subdued second game, but then turned it back on for the third game yesterday evening, leading England to a 2-0 win against Germany in the third and final game of the group stages at the U21 European Championship. Incidentally, England won all three of their games by that same scoreline to qualify as group winners for the quarterfinals, where they will face Portugal on Sunday.
Madueke has still yet to register an official assist or goal, but his enterprising, positive play has been fun to watch, and it even earned him the Man of the Match award in last night’s game. Well done, Noni!
Levi Colwill started the first two games for England but got a rest in the third.
Noni Madueke ️ Germany— #BoehlyOUT (@RealistCFC) June 28, 2023
60 minutes Played. pic.twitter.com/QCqA2NYgu7
Elsewhere at the U21 Euros, Ukraine also made it into the quarterfinals after a 2-2 draw against Spain on Tuesday. Mykhailo Mudryk, as was expected, still did not feature due to a knock, but should be available for the knockout match against France on Sunday.
The two other quarterfinals, both on Saturday, will be between Spain and Switzerland and the two surprise packages, Georgia and Israel.
The other notable international competition going on right now is the CONCACAF Gold Cup, where the USA’s B-Team (with Gaga Slonina as the third goalkeeper) smacked around tiny little St Kitts and Nevis, 6-0 (fun fact of little value to all y’all: my stepdad was the first manager of Brimstone Hill Fortress National Park there).
More interestingly, Jamaica beat Trinidad & Tobago, 4-1, with Dujuan Richards getting on the scoresheet in added-on time, putting his name to the scoreboard that already had Leon Bailey (whom Richards replaced on 82 minutes) and Demarai Gray (twice) on it from the first half hour of a dominant victory for the Reggae Boyz.
Richard’s hopeful shot from distance took a massive deflection, but a goal is a goal, and this one was his very first for the national team. Congrats, Whisper!