The six Brentford players that went away on international duty are now back with The Bees. The six players picked up eight caps between them, captained their countries and picked up vital victories as they moved towards youth international tournaments. There was also a massive win for one Brentford player and qualification secured for the FIFA World Cup.
Andreas Bjelland played twice in three days for Denmark in World Cup Qualification Play-Offs. He helped his side secure a 0-0 draw with Republic of Ireland in Copenhagen last Saturday that set up a winner-takes-all clash in Dublin on Tuesday. Denmark won that game 5-1 after falling behind and will play in the World Cup in Russia next summer. Andreas will hope to be part of that squad as will his fellow Denmark internationals in the Brentford group – Henrik Dalsgaard and Lasse Vibe.
Unfortunately, Kamohelo Mokotjo will not be joining him. Brentford’s South African midfield player was part of the squad for two vital qualifiers against Senegal. If South Africa had won both they would have qualified but they suffered two defeats. Kamo played in the first match and was an unused substitute in the second.
Chris Mepham played twice for Wales Under-21 during the international break. Wales played two qualification matches for the 2019 UEFA European Under-21 Championships. They lost the first to Bosnia and Herzegovina and then drew with Romania in the second. Chris captained Wales in the second match in only his fourth cap at that level. Wales have won two, drawn one and lost two so far in Qualification Group Eight. They are fourth in the group, five points behind leaders Romania but with a game in hand.
Theo Archibald was in the Scotland Under-21 squad for two qualification matches. He was an unused substitute for a draw with Latvia and also for a defeat to Ukraine. Scotland’s chances of qualification are receding as they are six points off behind leaders England and a point behind Holland in second. Only the best four runners-up, across all nine groups, reach the Play-Offs for qualification. Group winners qualify automatically.
There were also qualification matches for the 2018 UEFA European Under-19 Championships that involved Mads Bech Sørensen, representing Denmark, and Ellery Balcombe, playing for England. Mads played in two of Denmark’s three wins in three qualifiers, captaining the side in both matches. Ellery played in one of England’s trio of wins and kept a clean sheet in a victory over Bulgaria. Both Denmark and England are now through to the Elite Round of qualification. Seven groups of four will be drawn and the winner of each group will go to the finals in Finland in July.