There were mixed fortunes for Benfica's international contingent this week. André Carrillo pulled on a Peru shirt for the first time in over a year, while André Horta suffered another injury setback with Portugal under-21s. Read on to find out more.
Portugal continued their excellent recent form with a 4-1 win over Latvia, and have now scored 16 goals in their last three games. As with the previous international break, neither Nélson Semedo or Pizzi were utilised by head coach Fernando Santos. Portugal sit second in Group B, three points behind group-leaders Switzerland, who retained their 100% record with a narrow win over the Faroe Islands.
Portugal under-21s began the international break with a 3-1 victory over the Czech Republic at the Estádio do Bonfim. João Carvalho started the match, André Horta came on at half-time, and Gonçalo Guedes played the last half hour. Rui Jorge's team followed up the win with a respectable 1-1 draw away to the Netherlands. Guedes and Carvalho both started, and the former received a first half booking. Both games were friendlies. André Horta did not appear in the second match; instead, he was forced to return home early after suffering a muscular injury that will keep him out for around a month.
Emílio Peixe's side contested back-to-back friendlies with Morocco, winning the first 5-2 and drawing the second 1-1. Benfica B's Diogo Gonçalves bagged a brace in the first encounter, with Heriberto Tavares also getting on the scoresheet. Aurélio Buta, Francisco Ferreira, Rúben Dias, Yuri Ribeiro and Pedro Rodrigues all started, while Pedro Amaral came on as a second half substitute. All eight Benfica players featured in the second match, with five in the starting eleven.
It was a mixed week for Portugal under-19s, who lost 1-0 to Bulgaria, drew 1-1 with Belarus, and won 2-1 against Denmark. José Gomes played 10 minutes of the first game, but was not called upon in the second or third.
Kostas Mitroglou remained on the bench during Greece's 1-0 friendly defeat to Belarus. Andreas Samaris started the game, but was replaced at half time. Four days later, both were on the pitch for the entirety of the feisty 1-1 draw with Bosnia-Herzegovina. Samaris received a second half booking, one of an astonishing 12 yellow cards dished out during the match. Greece remain in a strong position in Group H, two points behind group-leaders Belgium, and three ahead of third-placed Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Following his recent nomination for Swedish Defender of the Year, Victor Lindelöf played all 90 minutes of Sweden's 2-1 World Cup qualifying defeat to France in Paris. The loss leaves Sweden third in Group A, level on points with second-placed Holland. Lindelöf then came on for the second half of the 2-0 friendly victory over Hungary, replacing his captain, Andreas Granqvist.
Raúl Jiménez was an unused substitute in Mexico's 2-1 World Cup qualifying victory over the United States in Columbus. He started the subsequent qualifier against Panama, but drew a blank as the game finished goalless. After their opening two fixtures, Mexico are second in the six-team CONCACAF table, which is also known as the 'Hex'. The top three teams qualify automatically for the 2018 World Cup, while the fourth-placed nation advances to the inter-confederation play-offs.
After an exile of 13 months, André Carrillo returned to Peru's starting eleven for their World Cup qualifier against Paraguay. He completed 74 minutes and was booked in the 4-1 victory. Five days later, he played 62 minutes of Peru's 2-0 defeat to Brazil. Peru now languish in eighth place in the ten-team CONMEBOL qualification table. They are five points from a play-off place and six from an automatic qualification spot, with six games left to play.
Jhon Murillo built on his impressive form for Tondela by starting both of Venezuela's World Cup qualifiers this week. He played the full 90 minutes in their 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia, and 75 minutes of their 3-0 defeat to Ecuador. Venezuela remain bottom of the CONMEBOL table, with no realistic chance of World Cup qualification.
Andrija Živković was part of the victorious Serbia squad which secured qualification for Euro 2017 in Poland, amidst the drama of a two-legged play-off against Norway. The 20-year old winger played 62 minutes of his country's 2-0 home victory, but was withdrawn at half-time in the ensuing 1-0 away defeat, a match in which he was booked.
Benfica B forwards Luka Jović and Ivan Šaponjić both started for Serbia's newly formed under-20 side in their 2-1 friendly victory over Montenegro under-21s in Podgorica.
Oliver Šarkić faced clubmates Jović and Šaponjić in the 2-1 loss to Serbia. He also started Montenegro's 2-0 friendly defeat to Bosnia-Herzegovina.
Benfica B defender Branimir Kalaica had a very busy week, completing three consecutive games for Croatia under-19s, who claimed wins over Cyprus (4-0), the Faroe Islands (5-0), and Montenegro (2-1). Croatia finished top of Group 12 and have been seeded third for next year's 'Elite Round', the final stage of qualification for Euro 2017 in Georgia.