Koubek and Bauer also make appearances
On Sunday, the 2022 World Cup began. FCA player Carlos Gruezo was able to celebrate a win in the very first game, as Ecuador won 2-0. Maximilian Bauer and Maurice Malone also celebrated victory with the Germany U21s in a friendly against Italy.
After picking up a tendon problem in the game against Bochum, Gruezo was declared fit in time for the opening game of the World Cup. However the FCA midfielder did not appear in the game against hosts Qatar. Both Ecuador goals were scored by Enner Valencia of Turkish club Fenerbahçe. The South American team play their next game on Friday (25th November, 17:00 CET) against the Netherlands.
Away from the World Cup, there were some other international fixtures. Tomáš Koubek travelled to Turkey with the Czechia national team, and came on for Bremen goalkeeper Jiří Pavlenka for the second half. Czechia suffered a narrow 2-1 defeat against Turkey, who are coached by Stefan Kuntz. Koubek was on the bench for the 5-0 win over the Faroe Islands.
Maurice Malone had a very successful debut for the Germany U21 national team. The 22-year-old FCA academy product, who is currently on loan at Wolfsberger AC, entered the fray in the 75th minute alongside regular starter Maximilian Bauer (6th U21 international) and stayed focussed in the pouring rain in Ascona (Italy). Malone could only be stopped through a foul (85’), and the following freekick led to a penalty for handball. The attacker converted it into the right-hand corner to make the score 4-2 – a debut goal on his debut.
FCA defender Robert Gumny and Poland have their first World Cup game on Tuesday (22nd November, 17:00 CET) against Mexico. Ruben Vargas and the Switzerland national team meet Cameroon on Thursday (24th November, 11:00 CET).