The national teams of six Bayern Munich players clashed today in World Cup qualifying matches across the globe, but the performances, results, or both left little for fans of the club to celebrate.
France vs the Netherlands
The marquee match-up between France and the Netherlands ended in a 4-0 blowout, as France thoroughly outplayed Oranje virtually the entire game. Arjen Robben, who played the entire 90 minutes, mustered merely 2 shots - of 5 total for the Netherlands. Robben wasted a chance to tie the game 1:1 in the 69’ minute by misplaying a header.
Opposite Robben, Kingsley Coman started for France on the right wing. He played 80 minutes and challenged the Dutch keeper twice in the first half. But the lion’s share of traffic for les Bleus ran through Lemar on the left wing, who scored a brace late in the second half.
Corentin Tolisso, though called up along with Coman, was not included on the roster.
Portugal vs the Faroe Islands
The Ronaldo show continued, as the The Best FIFA Men's Player 2016™ scored a hat-trick against the hapless Faroe Islands in a 5-1 victory. If you were looking for Renato Sanches, look elsewhere: Portugal called him up, but for the U-21 team, not the senior squad. Sanches will probably play in Portugal’s U-21 match against Wales on September 5.
South America: Chile and Colombia
The good news is that despite Colombian head coach José Pékerman’s assertion that he would put James in the starting lineup against Venezuela if he wanted, no matter what Bayern Munich’s medical staff thought, he did not. James watched Colombia’s scoreless draw from the bench.
Arturo Vidal was rather less fortunate. He played, and he played badly, opening the scoring for, not Chile, but Paraguay with an embarrassing own goal.
Vidal battled on as Chile fell 0-3 to Paraguay, capping the evening with a yellow card in the final minute of stoppage time.
Perhaps Robert Lewandowski and a bevy of Bayern players on the German national team will wash the bad taste out of our mouths, as Poland takes on Denmark and Germany visits the Czech Republic today on the road to the World Cup.