Florian Kainz rounded off a successful week on Saturday night as Austria and the SV Werder man beat defending World Champions Germany 2-1 in a friendly. It was the Austrians’ first win against their German neighbours for almost 32 years. Florian Kainz started on the bench but came on after 88 minutes to help see out the team’s narrow lead on Germany. Kainz and Co. now shift their attention to the next game: On Sunday at 16:00 CEST, they face five times World Cup winners Brazil.
Milos Veljkovic also has a lot to look forward to: The Green-White centre back is in Serbia’s 23-man squad for the World Cup in Russia; national team coach and former Werder player Mladen Krstajić made the final selection on Friday night. Veljkovic and Co. are in Group E with Costa Rica, Switzerland and Brazil.
Thomas Delaney is also off to Russia as part of Denmark’s 23-man squad for the finals. Werder’s midfield engine was in action for the Danes on Saturday against Ludwig Augustinsson’s Sweden, playing the full 90 minutes of a goalless draw. Augustinsson did not feature in the game against his Scandinavian neighbours.
The USA national team may have missed out on World Cup qualification, but that hasn’t stopped them organising international friendlies. In the squad: Werder Bremen’s Josh Sargent, who marked his international debut on Monday with a win and a goal, earning himself a spot in Dave Sarachan’s team for the following friendly on Saturday against Ireland. Sargent was brought on in the 70th minute of the 2-1 defeat for the USA. The next challenge for our 18-year-old striker and his US teammates is on Saturday the 9th June in the shape of France.
Marco Friedl’s week with the Austrian U21s was less successful: After a 3-0 defeat to the Czech Republic on Thursday, the youngsters had the chance at revenge the following Sunday, but lost again, albeit only 3-2. The SV Werder right back played 90 minutes in the second game.
Czech Republic national team goalkeeper Jiri Pavlenka was also without a win in the last games before the summer break. On Friday, head coach Karel Jarolím’s side were beaten 4-0 by Australia, with Werder’s number one sitting on the bench. Kosovo international Milot Rashica was also not in action, due to their game against Ivory Coast being called off.