International round-up: Fabianski and Coventry in action
West Ham United players enjoyed an evening of mixed fortunes in international action tonight.
Hammer of the Year Lukasz Fabianski was in goal for Poland for their shock UEFA Euro 2020 qualifying Group G defeat at Slovenia’s Stozice Stadium.
Despite the visitors going into the fixture with a perfect record up to that point, Slovenia took the lead 10 minutes before half-time when defender Aljaz Struna blasted home a flicked-on corner, giving Fabianski little chance in goal.
Poland dominated possession with 65% of the ball, but created few clear-cut chances, and Bratislava-based striker Andraz Sporar made them pay when he doubled the home side’s lead with 25 minutes remaining, sprinting into the channel and firing home from a narrow angle.
Despite Fabianski making a couple of fine stops, most notably a fingertip save to deny Josip Ilicic in the second half, the result was already sealed.
Poland stay top of Group G, but with their lead cut to just three points over second-placed Austria, whom they face in Warsaw on Monday.
Elsewhere, Conor Coventry played the full 90 minutes as Republic of Ireland U21s defeated Armenia U21s 1-0 at Dublin’s Tallaght Stadium.
The midfielder’s side took the lead after 31 minutes when Tottenham striker Troy Parrott converted a low cross.
That was the way the score remained as Coventry, donning the No6 shirt, helped the home team dictate the tempo in a largely dominant - if low-scoring - victory.
The result means Stephen Kenny’s Boys in Green sit top of Group A in the 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualifiers, with six points out of six.
Meanwhile, winger Robert Snodgrass was an unused substitute at Hampden Park as Scotland fell to a 2-1 home defeat to Russia.
The result leaves the Tartan Army six points adrift of their visitors in Group I with five games remaining, with a home fixture against group leaders Belgium up next.
Recently called up for England U21s for the first time, Grady Diangana and Nathan Trott did not feature in the side’s victory over Turkey U21s on Friday night, but will hope to make their debuts for the side against Kosovo U21s on Monday evening at KC Stadium.