Willy Boly and Owen Otasowie joined Pedro Neto in becoming the latest members of Nuno Espirito Santo’s Wolves squad to make their senior international debuts this week.
After Neto scored just eight minutes into his first senior start for Portugal on Wednesday evening, it was the turn of Boly and Otasowie on Thursday, making their inaugural appearances for the Ivory Coast and USA.
Neto was one of three Wolves players to feature for Portugal in their 7-0 drubbing of Andorra, with Joao Moutinho wearing the captain’s armband, and Nelson Semedo being heavily involved in the goals. Rui Patricio was on the bench, while Ruben Neves wasn’t named among the subsitutes.
Portugal are back in action tomorrow evening when they take on France in a Nations League group stage match before heading to Croatia on Tuesday night.
Having been called up multiple times for Cote d’Ivoire in the past having represented his native France at youth level, Boly finally switched his allegiance to the country of his parents and was given the all-clear to start Ivory Coast’s Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against Madagascar in Abidjan.
Playing in a back three for his country, as he does for his club, Boly was entrusted with the ‘Conor Coady’ role, playing the full 90 minutes at the heart of the defence in a 2-1 win over the Barea.
The defender will be aiming to play once again when the two sides meet for the second leg in Madagascar on Tuesday.
Academy graduate Otasowie is the latest member of the squad to make his senior international bow having come from the bench in USA’s goalless draw with Wales in Swansea.
Congratulations Owen! 🇺🇸 https://t.co/6FYwlf9805— Wolves (@Wolves) November 12, 2020
The 19-year-old, who was born in the states before moving to London when he was young, had been previously capped by his country at under-18 level, but got his first chance with the first-team on Thursday evening when he replaced LA Galaxy’s Sebastian Lletget in the 87th minute of their friendly clash.
Otasowie could have another opportunity to get more international minutes under his belt on Monday when the USA take on Panama in Austria.
Conor Coady will not be facing Leander Dendoncker’s Belgium on Sunday after having to leave the England camp early due to following UK government Covid-19 guidelines.
The captain is now self-isolating after discovering he had inadvertently come into contact with somebody prior to camp who has tested positive for Covid-19 via an NHS Test and Trace alert.
However, Dendoncker will be aiming to face England having featured for the Red Devil’s in their friendly victory against Switzerland on Wednesday.
The midfielder started the 2-1 win in Den Dreef but was brought off at half-time with Leicester City’s Youri Tielemans replacing him. Belgium will now prepare for a pair of home Nations League matches in Brussels which Dendoncker will be hoping to be involved in, against the Three Lions on Sunday and against Denmark on Wednesday.
Dendoncker starts tonight for his country. Good luck, Leander!— Wolves (@Wolves) November 11, 2020
Adama Traore came off the bench for Spain in their friendly draw with the Netherlands on Wednesday as a 62nd minute substitute when the score was how it ended at 1-1.
Spain now face two Nations League fixtures against Switzerland on Saturday and Germany on Tuesday, with Traore aiming to be named on the teamsheet from the start in at least one of those fixtures.
In the junior ranks, Vitinha was in from the start for Portugal under-21’s 3-0 win over Belarus in their UEFA Euro U21 qualifying clash. The midfielder played the first 75 minutes of the victory, and could next be in action on Sunday against Cyprus or the Netherlands on Wednesday.
Romain Saiss and Raul Jimenez are still awaiting their first matches of the international break, with Morocco facing an Africa Cup of Nations qualifying match against the Central African Republic later today, before going head-to-head again on Tuesday, while Mexico are playing international friendlies with South Korea tomorrow and Japan on Thursday, both in Austria.
Wolves internationals November fixtures
Patricio, Semedo, Neves, Moutinho, Neto (Portugal): UEFA Nations League group stages
- 7-0 vs Andorra (H) Friendly
- Saturday 14th November | vs France (H) | 7.45pm
- Tuesday 17th November | vs Croatia (A) | 7.45pm
Traore (Spain): UEFA Nations League group stages
- 1-1 vs Netherlands (A) Friendly
- Saturday 14th November | vs Switzerland (A) | 7.45pm
- Tuesday 17th November | vs Germany (H) | 7.45pm
Dendoncker (Belgium): UEFA Nations League group stages
- 2-1 vs Switzerland (H) Friendly
- Sunday 11th October | vs England (H) | 7.45pm
- Wednesday 18th November | vs Denmark (H) | 7.45pm
Saiss (Morocco): Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers
- Friday 13th November | vs Central African Republic (H) | 7pm
- Tuesday 17th November | vs Central African Republic (A) | 1pm
Boly (Ivory Coast): Africa Cup of Nations Qualifiers
- 2-1 vs Madagascar (H)
- Tuesday 17th November | vs Madagascar (A) | 1pm
Jimenez (Mexico): Friendlies
- Saturday 14th November | vs South Korea (N) | 8pm
- Tuesday 17th November | vs Japan (N) | 8pm
Otasowie (USA): Friendlies
- 0-0 vs Wales (A)
- Monday 16th November | vs Panama (N) | 7.45pm
Vitinha (Portugal U21): UEFA Euro U21 qualifying
- 3-0 vs Belarus (H)
- Sunday 15th November | vs Cyprus (H) | 7.30pm
- Wednesday 18th November | vs Netherlands (H) | 7.30pm