World Cup heartbreak for Maxwel Cornet: Burnley internationals round-up

It was an international window to remember for the Clarets on duty, with four goals and a number of landmarks.
Maxwel Cornet in action for Ivory Coast in CameroonMaxwel Cornet in action for Ivory Coast in Cameroon
Maxwel Cornet in action for Ivory Coast in Cameroon

However, it ended in heartbreak for Maxwel Cornet, as the Ivory Coast failed to qualify for the World Cup for the second-successive tournament.

Cornet, who has scored four in five Premier League starts for Burnley since his summer switch from Lyon, was in CAF World Cup qualifying action for the Ivory Coast, who beat Mozambique 3-0 on Saturday to regain top spot in group D from Cameroon.

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Former Leeds wide man Max Gradel scored the opening goal against Mozambique after 10 minutes, from a Cornet assist, with Cornet adding the second just after the hour.

Cornet was replaced by Arsenal’s Nicolas Pepe with 20 minutes remaining, before Fulham’s Jean Michael Seri made it 3-0 late on.

The Elephants just needed to avoid defeat in Cameroon on Tuesday to top the group and qualify for the third round, which sees the 10 group winners drawn in five home and away ties, of which the winners of each will advance to Qatar 2022.

However, Cameroon triumphed 1-0 with a goal from Cornet’s former Lyon teammate Karl Toko Ekambi, and the Indomitable Lions advanced.

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Striker Chris Wood was rested last Friday, as New Zealand beat Algeria’s FIFA Arab Cup side 2-1 in a behind-closed-doors friendly in Dubai.

But against The Gambia on Tuesday, Wood returned to the side, and scored both goals in a 2-0 friendly win.

And the brace means Wood is two goals short of equaling Vaughan Coveny’s All Whites record of 29 goals.

Earning his 60th cap for his country, Wood opened the scoring eight minutes before the interval, beating the keeper with a back-heel.

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He added his second on 64 minutes when he latched onto a pass from Sarpreet Singh, before rounding the keeper to finish.

Wood could have walked off with the matchball, but three minutes from time, his effort came back off the post.

Meanwhile, summer signing Connor Roberts scored the fifth goal for Wales as the Red Dragons saw off Belarus 5-1 at the Cardiff City Stadium on Saturday.

The Burnley right back was deployed at wing back as Rob Page’s men gave their hopes of finishing second behind Belgium in their group a big boost.

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Juventus midfielder Aaron Ramsey gave Wales the lead inside two minutes, before Neco Williams of Liverpool embarrassed the Belarus goalkeeper, who couldn’t keep out a tame shot.

Ramsey added the third from the spot shortly after the break, before Spurs’ Ben Davies headed in his first for his country, and Roberts claimed his third goal for Wales late on, flicking in a free kick at the near post - just as club mate Wayne Hennessey was preparing to come on for his 98th cap in goal.

Wales then went on to seal runners-up spot in the group, earning a home play-off as seeds, after holding Belgium 1-1 in Cardiff, with Roberts playing the full 90 minutes as he earned his 34th cap.

Kevin De Bruyne put the Red Devils ahead after 12 minutes, only for Kieffer Moore to claim the crucial equaliser just after the half hour.

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In the same group, striker Matej Vydra came on after an hour last Thursday night, as the Czech Republic beat Kuwait 7-0 in a friendly.

He replaced Sparta Prague’s Jakub Pesek, who had scored twice in the friendly clash.

Vydra then started on Tuesday night as the Czech Republic ended their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign with a 2-0 victory over Estonia in Prague.

Vydra came off with 21 minutes remaining, replaced by midfielder Jan Kopic of Viktoria Plzeň.

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Defender Nathan Collins was an unused substitute for both Republic of Ireland games, as they held Portugal to a 0-0 draw in Dublin last Thursday night, before going on to beat Luxembourg 3-0 on Sunday evening.

On Friday night, Bailey Peacock-Farrell, on a season-long loan at Sheffield Wednesday, kept a clean sheet as Northern Ireland beat Lithuania 1-0 at Windsor Park with a Benat Satkus own goal.

And he was at it again on Monday night, as Northern Ireland shut out European champions Italy in a goal-less draw, again in Belfast, with Roberto Mancini’s side forced into the play-offs as a result.