While pre-season training was starting in West London, two Brentford players were in international action yesterday. Most of their team-mates were meeting up for the first day of the 2019/20 season but Ezri Konsa and Kamohelo Mokotjo were representing their countries. But neither got the result they wanted.
Kamohelo was in action for South Africa at the Africa Cup of Nations. He played the full 90 minutes in the centre of midfield, but South Africa were beaten 1-0 by Ivory Coast in their opening Group D match. The only goal of the game was scored by Aston Villa strike Jonathan Kodjia just past the hour mark to give Ivory Coast the points.
Ivory Coast had the better of the contest and deserved the win, but South Africa can still recover. They face Namibia on Friday before a game against Morocco, the top seeds in the group, next Monday. One win is likely to take South Africa through to the knock-out stages. Kamohelo earned his 16th cap for his country in the game.
A little closer to home, Ezri Konsa played for England Under-21 in their final game in the UEFA European Under-21 Championships. England drew 3-3 with Croatia and Ezri came on early in the second half. England led three times in the game but were pegged back on each occasion and had to settle for a point.
The draw ended a disappointing tournament for England, who lost to France and Romania last week. They finished third in the group and did not make the last four, who will battle for the title later this week. Ezri earned his seventh England Under-21 cap in the draw, to add to five at Under-20 level. It will be his last game at Under-21 level as he is too old for the next tournament.