The launch of Fantasy Premier League 2019/20 meant that our international round-ups took a back seat for a few days.
This extended Scout Notes article, therefore, recaps all the action involving Premier League players over the last week, as we bring you up to speed on the Copa America, Africa Cup of Nations, Gold Cup and the European Under-21 Championship.
Africa Cup of Nations
Egypt 2-0 DR Congo
Uganda 0-2 Egypt
Zimbabwe 0-4 DR Congo
The host nation have played twice since we last brought you an international round-up and went through to the round of 16 after back-to-back 2-0 wins.
Mohamed Salah (£12.5m) and Aston Villa right-back Ahmed El Mohamady (£4.5m) got on the scoresheet in both matches, with both players lasting 90 minutes in each game (El Mohamady being substituted in stoppage time of the win over Uganda).
El Mohamady opened the scoring in the win over DR Congo, prodding home after Salah’s cross had caused panic in the opposition box.
The Liverpool winger then latched onto a pass from Trezeguet before finishing confidently to put the hosts 2-0 before the interval.
Salah had earlier saw an excellent chance deflected narrowly wide and had a free-kick saved.
Salah had better luck from a dead-ball situation in the win over Uganda, curling home a superb free-kick to put his country 1-0 up.
The advancing El Mohamady doubled the Pharaohs’ lead on the stroke of half-time with a drilled low shot after Salah had narrowly failed to connect with an Ayman Ashraf cross.
The Liverpool man was later thwarted by goalkeeper Denis Onyango when clean through on goal.
Mohamed Elneny (£4.5m) played 152 minutes across these two matches, while West Ham’s Arthur Masuaku (£4.5m) was an unused substitute both in this fixture and in DR Congo’s 4-0 win over Zimbabwe on Sunday.
Egypt’s round of 16 match will take place this Saturday.
Senegal 0-1 Algeria
While Salah and Egypt are safely through to the last 16, Sadio Mane (£11.5m) and his Senegal side will have to get at least a draw against Kenya in their final group game on Monday night to ensure progression.
That’s because the Lions of Teranga fell to a 1-0 defeat to Algeria on Thursday, with Riyad Mahrez (£8.5m) and co booking their place in the knockout rounds.
While not at his exhilarating best, Mane was still at the centre of most of what Senegal did.
The Liverpool winger provided the key passes for the only two shots that his nation had on target and headed over a corner with the last chance of the game.
Mane ought to have had a penalty in the second half, too, when he was sandwiched by two Algerian players.
Mahrez was quieter by comparison, narrowly missing the target with his one effort on goal in the 71st minute.
Cheikhou Kouyate (£5.0m) was deployed in defence by Senegal while Idrissa Gana Gueye (£5.0m) was an unused substitute.
Morocco 1-0 Ivory Coast
Having only made a cameo appearance off the bench in the win over South Africa, Wilfried Zaha (£7.0m) was an unused substitute as Ivory Coast fell to a 1-0 defeat to Morocco.
The Crystal Palace winger – reclassified as an FPL midfielder next season – played just over 20 minutes of football in his side’s opening two Africa Cup of Nations matches.
Zaha made the starting XI in the Ivory Coast’s final group fixture on Monday evening, however – we’ll have a write-up of that match later in the week.
Romain Saiss (£4.5m) was on the winning side as Morocco’s stay in Egypt was extended.
The Wolves defender cleared a Jonathan Kodjia (£5.5m) header off the line in the first minute, the Villa forward playing the whole 90 minutes for Ivory Coast up front but unable to add to his goal he scored against South Africa.
Serge Aurier (£5.0m) had provided the cross for that Kodjia effort but the Spurs right-back was forced off with a hamstring injury after 69 minutes and, according to the player himself, his tournament could be over.
The Spurs right-back position is one we’ll be monitoring over the summer, then, particularly if Aurier’s issue proves to be a serious one.
Nigeria 1-0 Guinea
Madagascar 2-0 Nigeria
Burundi 0-2 Guinea
Naby Keita‘s (£6.0m) Africa Cup of Nations could potentially be at an end, with the Liverpool midfielder lasting just 71 minutes of his country’s 1-0 defeat to Nigeria before being withdrawn.
Keita, who was making his first start for club or country since the beginning of May, reportedly aggravated his recurring thigh injury which subsequently caused him to miss Guinea’s 2-0 win over Burundi.
Although Guinea have sneaked into the knockout stages in third place, Keita has reportedly flown to Liverpool for treatment – though may well return to Egypt should the prognosis at Melwood be positive.
Nigeria also made it through to the round of 16 but only after a shock defeat to Madagascar.
Leon Balogun (£4.5m) played 180 minutes across these two matches but the Brighton centre-back was at fault for Madagascar’s first goal, allowing goalscorer Lalaïna Nomenjanahary to nip in when attempting to shield the ball on the edge of his box.
Substitute Wilfred Ndidi (£5.0m) played a big part in the island nation’s second, fouling an opponent for a free-kick that was subsequently deflected in off the Leicester City man.
Ndidi had played the full 90 minutes of the win over Guinea, a match that Alex Iwobi (£6.0m) also started.
The Arsenal winger came close to breaking the deadlock in that game but saw a curling effort superbly saved.
Iwobi was thrown on as a 60th-minute substitute with Nigeria trailing Madagascar but couldn’t salvage any consolation for his country, who had, it must be said, already qualified from the group stage.
Cameroon 2-0 Guinea-Bissau
Ghana 2-2 Benin
Cameroon 0-0 Ghana
Gaetan Bong (£4.5m) was an unused substitute as Cameroon beat Guinea-Bissau 2-0 in their Africa Cup of Nations opener, with the Brighton full-back playing the first 74 minutes of his country’s 0-0 draw with Ghana four days later.
Christian Atsu (£5.5m) was substituted with a hamstring injury after only 15 minutes of that stalemate with Cameroon, having lasted the distance in Ghana’s 2-2 draw with Benin.
The Newcastle United midfielder faces a scan on the problem but looks set to miss Ghana’s final group stage match against Guinea-Bissau on Tuesday.
Tunisia 1-1 Mali
Southampton new boy Moussa Djenepo produced a positive display in the 1-1 draw with Tunisia, his pace causing Mali’s opponents problems at the back and leading to eight fouls on the Saints’ winger.
Djenepo was replaced after 75 minutes.
Mali take on Angola on Tuesday in their final group game, with qualification looking likely.
Kenya 3-2 Tanzania
Victor Wanyama (£5.0m) played the full 90 minutes and picked up a booking as Kenya edged a five-goal thriller to keep alive their hopes of qualification to the round of 16.
Kenya may have to pick up at least a point against Senegal in their final group match to progress but can still qualify as one of the best-place third-place teams.
Brazil 0-0 Paraguay (4-3 penalties)
Roberto Firmino (£9.5m) and Gabriel Jesus (£9.5m) had 120-minute run-outs as Brazil edged past ten-man Paraguay on penalties.
Fabian Balbuena (£4.5m) had been sent off for felling Firmino on 58 minutes – an incident that saw a penalty award downgraded to a free-kick after VAR intervention – but despite racking up 26 shots on goal, the Selecao were unable to breach the Paraguayan defence.
Jesus fired a glorious chance wide after a Firmino knock down before Willian (£7.0m), on as a 71st-minute substitute, struck the upright with a low shot.
Alisson (£6.0m) had a comfortable evening as Paraguay, spearheaded by Miguel Almiron (£6.0m) in attack, could only muster one shot on target.
Ederson (£6.0m) was an unused substitute, while Fernandinho (£5.5m) wasn’t fit to feature because of a knee injury and Richarlison (£8.0m) missed out due to mumps.
Firmino missed his spot-kick in the shootout but Almiron, Willian and Jesus were all successful, the Manchester City striker scoring the decisive penalty to see Brazil through to a semi-final against Argentina on Tuesday.
Venezuela 0-2 Argentina
Sergio Aguero (£12.0m) claimed two assists to set up that aforementioned meeting with Brazil.
The Manchester City striker’s off-target drive was backheeled in by Lautaro Martinez for Argentina’s opener, before Venezuelan goalkeeper Wuilker Farinez spilled Aguero’s low shot to allow Giovani Lo Celso a simple finish.
The premium FPL forward was withdrawn after 85 minutes, having only had one other attempt on goal.
Juan Foyth (£5.0m) – suspended for Gameweeks 1 and 2 – and Nicolas Otamendi (£5.5m) were part of an Argentinean backline that was scarcely troubled by a Venezuela side featuring Salomon Rondon.
Roberto Pereyra (£6.0m) was an unused substitute.
Colombia 0-0 Chile (4-5 Penalties)
Yerry Mina (£5.5m), Davinson Sanchez (£5.5m) and Alexis Sanchez (£7.0m) all played 120 minutes in a quarter-final that Chile dominated.
Clear-cut chances were thin on the ground but Chile edged through to the last four after success in a penalty shootout, with Alexis scoring the decisive spot-kick.
Jefferson Lerma (£5.0m) was an unused substitute.
Uruguay 0-0 Peru (4-5 Penalties)
Lucas Torreira (£5.0m) emerged as a 57th-minute substitute and scored from the spot in the shootout in Salvador but the Arsenal midfielder will now head back to his club after Uruguay were seen off 5-4 on penalties.
Mexico 1-1 Costa Rica (5-4 on penalties)
Raul Jimenez‘s (£7.5m) stay in the CONCACAF Gold Cup was extended as Mexico edged past Costa Rica in the quarter-finals.
For those worrying about the Wolves forward’s minutes over the summer, there was further concern as he endured a 120-minute run-out in Houston.
Jimenez scored his fourth goal of the tournament when putting his country ahead on 44 minutes, turning and shooting in the Costa Rican box after seeing an initial effort blocked.
The Mexican striker saw a tame spot-kick saved in the subsequent shootout but his country prevailed 5-4 on penalties, setting up a semi-final against Haiti on Tuesday night.
USA 1-0 Curacao
The USA are also through to the semi-finals of the Gold Cup after a narrow win over Curacao.
Christian Pulisic, who had been rested to the bench and only introduced as a second-half substitute in the dead rubber against Panama last week, played the full 90 minutes against Cuco Martina‘s Curacao in Philadelphia.
The influential Chelsea winger produced a superb bit of trickery on the left flank to cross for Weston McKennie to nod in from close range.
As usual, much of the USA’s play came through the former Borussia Dortmund midfielder and he himself had two presentable chances early on in the game.
The USA face Jamaica in the semi-finals on Wednesday night.
European Under-21 Championship
With England exiting at the group stage, there was limited interest from a Fantasy perspective in the semi-finals and final of the European Under-21 Championship.
Matteo Guendouzi (£4.5m), Leicester’s Alex Pascanu and Brighton’s Tudor Baluta all bowed out at the semi-final stage after starting for their respective countries, with Pascanu sent off for Romania in their 4-2 defeat to Germany.
The main draw was Pablo Fornals (£6.5m), who starred in Spain’s 4-1 semi-final win over France and claimed a superb assist (a cross with the outside of his boot) for his country’s fourth and final strike.
Having lasted the distance in an influential showing in the semis, Fornals was more peripheral in a 72-minute run-out in the final as his country secured a 2-1 win over Germany to lift the cup.
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