Friday saw a busy and fruitful evening of international football for the Bianconeri’s representatives, as Paul Pogba and Patrice Evra’s France overturned Portugal 1-0 in Lisbon, Martin Caceres’ Uruguay edged out Panama by the same score line and Roberto Pereyra’s Argentina put seven past Bolivia.
Wins all round for Juve international contingent
At the Estadio Jose Alvalade, home to Sporting Lisbon, both Pogba and Evra enjoyed a full 90 minutes of football, delivering solid performances in the process. In a game of few chances, the best of which were made by Didier Deschamps’ side, Mathieu Valbuena’s precise free-kick five minutes from time ensured France continued their 40 year unbeaten record against Portugal.
Next up for Juve’s French contingent is a home tie at Bordeaux’s Stade Chaban Delmas, as next year’s EURO 2016 hosts entertain Serbia.
Across the Atlantic, Argentina bounced back from last summer’s Copa America final defeat to Chile, with a comprehensive 7-0 win over Bolivia at the BBVA Compass Stadium in Houston, Texas.
Ezequiel Lavezzi’s brace and Sergio Aguero’s chip following an excellent exchange with Juve’s Pereyra on the edge of the box put the World Cup finalists in control, taking a 3-0 lead into the break.
La Albiceleste’s array of attacking talent proved far too much for Bolivia in the second period as a second precise dink from Aguero, a double for captain Lionel Messi and a superb finish on the run from Atletico Madrid’s Angel Correa six minutes from time rubber-stamped an impressive win.
Pereyra and co’s next meeting will be with Mexico on Wednesday 9 September in Arlington.
Meanwhile, Martin Caceres’ Uruguay side registered their first win since the opening match of the 2015 Copa America, as they narrowly edged out a tenacious Panama side at the Estadio Rommel Fernandez Gutierrez.
With South America’s 2018 World Cup qualifying campaigning kicking off in October, last night’s win was an important for Oscar Taberez’s men as they look to play themselves back into form.
In a tight game, the tie was decided eight minutes from the end as Middlesbrough forward Cristian Stuani headed home Jonathan Rodriguez’s deep cross at the back post. Juventus’ Martin Caceres, slotting in at full-back in a four-man defence was rarely threatened defensively and most importantly got another 90 minutes of football under his belt.
The Bianconeri defender will also be back in action next Wednesday for a repeat of last year’s World Cup Group D encounter with Costa Rica.
There will be just one Juventus star on duty this evening as Stephan Lichtsteiner’s Switzerland host Slovenia at St.Jakob’s Park in Basel. With England the runaway leaders in Group E, tonight’s encounter represents the battle for second place and so a win for either side would be a huge step in terms of reaching the finals in France.