Internationals | Chirewa makes Zimbabwe debut

Tawanda Chirewa became the second Wolves man to make his senior international debut over the weekend, earning a first cap for Zimbabwe.

Having been called up for the March friendlies before returning to Molineux early, Chirewa received the Zimbabwe call again this summer and on Friday night represented his country for the very first time.

The midfielder was one of a number of Old Gold players in action for his country across the weekend and now summarises the key talking points.

Tawanda Chirewa | Zimbabwe 0-2 Lesotho

Zimbabwe are in the early stages of their World Cup qualification campaign but, having drawn their opening two games, suffered defeat on matchday three against Lesotho. Handed the number 20 shirt, Chirewa started the qualifier as part of a midfield three, but two first half goals from Lesotho ensured it was a difficult afternoon for Zimbabwe. 20-year-old Chirewa was given 68 minutes to experience international football for the first time, but his country couldn’t turn around the deficit. They can put things right on Tuesday however, as Zimbabwe go searching for a first win of the campaign away at South Africa.

Mario Lemina | Ivory Coast 1-0 Gabon

Like Zimbabwe, Gabon and Mario Lemina were also in World Cup qualifying action over the weekend but were also beaten. Lemina earned another cap with a start in the midfield, but a first half goal from Seko Fofana was the only goal scored on the night. Lemina played the full 90 minutes, but Gabon couldn’t recover to earn a point. They’d previously won their opening two matches of qualification, meaning now only opponents the Ivory Coast have a perfect record. Gabon slip to second in the group, but will look to get back to winning ways against Gambia on Tuesday evening.

Joao Gomes | Mexico 2-3 Brazil

Copa America is in the full vision of Brazil, who took on Mexico in a warm up match on Sunday and handed Joao Gomes another cap. Having featured in both of Brazil’s March internationals, Gomes started on the bench against Mexico, but got the final six minutes, with his country 2-1 up. It meant he was on the bench for the dramatic ending, which saw Mexico equalise through an own goal, before Endrick won it for Brazil in the sixth minute of added time. Their final warm up game is against the USA on Thursday, before the Copa America begins against Costa Rica on 25th June.

Boubacar Traore | Uzbekistan U23s 1-1 Mali U23s

Boubacar Traore was handed the captain’s armband for Mali under-23s’ friendly with Uzbekistan on Friday. The Wolves man led by example too, scoring the equaliser for his team, who’d trailed at the break following Alisher Odilov’s opener. However, when Traore played a one-two with a teammate and shifted the ball on to his right foot, the midfielder rifled high into the net from distance. That moment of inspiration was Traore’s second international goal of the calendar year, having also netted against Japan in March.

Joe Hodge | Republic of Ireland U21s 3-2 Croatia U21s

Joe Hodge was once again at the heart of the Republic of Ireland’s under-21s side, as they beat Croatia in an entertaining friendly on Friday night. Hodge played the first 45 minutes, during which the Irish raced into a two-goal lead. After Hodge’s half-time departure, Ireland made it three, meaning Croatia’s mini revival and two goals of their own counted for nothing. The Irish under-21s take on England under-20s on Tuesday afternoon.

Coming up…

Algeria and Rayan Ait-Nouri are back in World Cup qualifying action on Monday evening, with Uganda their opponents. Both teams have won two of their opening three group games.

The following day Matt Doherty could face a trio of teammates in Jose Sa, Nelson Semedo and Pedro Neto, with the Republic of Ireland hosting Portugal.

Hee Chan Hwang will hope to feature for South Korea as they take on China in a World Cup qualifier on Tuesday, likewise Lemina when Gabon face Gambia and Chirewa when Zimbabwe meet South Africa.