Canaries starlets in international action but McLean left out as Scotland slump
- Credit: PA
Norwich City left-back Jamal Lewis helped Northern Ireland get off to a flying start to European Championship qualification, as he won his seventh cap.
The 21-year-old played the full 90 minutes as Estonia were beaten 2-0 in Belfast tonight, seemingly coming through the game unscathed at Windsor Park.
City’s back-up goalkeeper Michael McGovern had to settle for a place on the bench, with Leeds youngster Bailey Peacock-Farrell getting the nod ahead of him, but Lewis looks likely to feature again in another home qualifier against Belarus on Sunday (7.45pm).
Earlier in the day there was a first England youth cap for Canaries defender Ben Godfrey, playing the full 90 minutes for the under-20s at St George’s Park in Burton.
The 21-year-old played at centre-back alongside Ipswich Town’s Chelsea loanee Trevoh Chalobah but couldn’t prevent a disappointing 3-1 defeat to Poland in the Euro Elite League, with Arsenal striker Eddie Nketiah on target for the hosts. Godfrey could be back in action with the U20s in Portugal in the same competition on Tuesday (6pm).
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Elsewhere, Kenny McLean watched on from the substitutes bench as Scotland slumped to a terrible 3-0 defeat in Kazakhstan, losing their opening European Championship qualifier, to a team ranked 117th in the world.
That may have come as a relief to City boss Daniel Farke, with the game being played on the same artificial pitch in Astana that Canaries keeper Tim Krul unfortunately knows all about, as it’s where he suffered a serious knee ligament injury during a 2-1 win for Holland back in October 2015, ruling him out for a year and effectively finishing his time as number one at Newcastle.
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With McLean in good form for the Championship leaders since shaking off four months out with an ankle injury, a watching brief may have been the best outcome from a City point of view.
The midfielder could well come into Alex McLeish’s thinking for Sunday’s away game against minnows San Marino (5pm though), in which nothing less than victory will be enough for the Scotland manager to keep his job – in spite of a play-off place already being secured by his team’s Uefa Nations League results.