Euro 2016 Qualifiers: Jovetic Ends Drought

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Dortmund’s record signing Stevan Jovetic ended his two-year goal drought for Montenegro with a brace in their 4-2 Euro 2016 Qualifier win over Lithuania in Podgorica tonight. The 25 year-old, who hadn’t scored for his country since March 2013 fired home either side of the break to put Montenegro second in Group E.

Group E is topped by Germany who drew 1-1 in Denmark, a match in which six Dortmund players featured. Viktor Fischer performed well on the left for the hosts, who were held by a German side including André Schürrle (who set up Mesut Özil’s opener), Mats Hummels, Lars Bender, Mario Götze, and Marcel Schmelzer who was carried off early on with a knee ligament injury.

Another Dortmund striker on the scoresheet tonight is Robert Lewandowski who put Poland in front at home to the Netherlands in their Group I clash, but ended up on the losing side after an Arjen Robben brace sealed a 3-2 win for the visitors after former-BVB right-back Lukasz Piszczek and free-scoring Klaas-Jan Huntelaar exchanged goals.

Neven Subotic put in a solid performance for Serbia who snatched a late draw at home to Croatia in their Group B tie, while Ivan Perisic lined-up against him but was unable to create any significant chances.

Heinz Lindner helped seal Austria’s third qualifying win with a good performance that saw them win 2-1 in Armenia in their Group C tie.

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Euro Qualifiers: Götze Goal, Verniers Début

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Mario Götze was the best player on the park for Germany tonight in their 5-2 Euro 2016 Qualifying win in Liechtenstein, scoring the third and setting up the fifth. Mario Gómez scored twice in the first seven minutes, with the opener coming after just 103 seconds.

Benjamin Kunz pulled a goal back for the hosts on the half-hour when Holger Badstuber slipped at the back, but Götze restored the two-goal lead when he controlled and slotted home at the far post from a deep Diego Contento cross.

Ten minutes after the break, Sandro Wieser headed a second for Liechtenstein before Mesut Özil tapped home a loose ball for 4-2 after Gómez was denied a hat-trick on the line. In the final minute, Götze played in substitute Lukas Podolski to make it five.

Mats Hummels (7.1), Lars Bender (7.1) and Mario Götze (8.8) played all ninety minutes in the match, with André Schürrle  (7.1) being replaced after 68 minutes by Ilkay Gündogan. Marcel Schmelzer came on as a late sub, while Marco Reus and Julian Schieber were unused.

The win leaves Germany top of Group E on ten points, three ahead of Denmark, with Lithuania and Montenegro a further point behind. Lithuania sit bottom of the group with four straight defeats.


Jos Verniers made his senior international début, coming on for the last twenty minutes for Belgium in their qualifier in Scotland. Ten-man Belgium had just taken a 2-1 lead through an Axel Witsel penalty, but the hosts fought back to draw 2-2 in their Group D tie.

Ivan Perisic scored his fifth goal for Croatia to equalise in their Group B game at home to Belarus, and was voted man-of-the-match, but it was the visitors that won it late on through a Sergey Kornilenko goal. Neven Subotic was also on the losing side in Group B action when Serbia went down to an early Heinrich Schmidtgal goal at home to Kazahstan. Croatia still top the group, a point clear of Kazakhstan and Serbia.

Viktor Fischer played the full 90 minutes for Denmark in their five-goal thriller at home to Lithuania in Group E. The two sides shared four goals in a crazy ten-minute first-half spell, before Nicklas Helenius scored the eventual winner right on the stroke of half-time.

Heinz Lindner kept a clean sheet for Austria as they won 1-0 in Hungary to move ahead of their opponents into second place in Group C. Stuttgart forward Martin Harnik scored the only goal of the game three minutes after the interval.

Finally, Stevan Jovetic played the full game upfront for Montenegro in their Friendly in Slovenia, but despite creating three chances he wasn’t able to beat Samir Handanovic in the home goal and sadly extends his international goal drought past the two year mark.

Lewandowski Called-Up & Other Dortmund News

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Robert Lewandowski has been called-up by Waldemar Fornalik to the Polish national squad for their Euro 2016 Qualifier at home to The Netherlands on 09 June. The 26 year-old striker scored 20 times in all competitions this season.

Mustafa Amini has been included in the Australian squad for the AFC Under-22 Championship that’s set to take place in South Korea beginning 18 June. Amini has spent the season on-loan at 3.Liga winners SV Sandhausen, but his contract won’t be renewed by Dortmund this summer.

BVB have confirmed that the contracts of five staff including reserves manager David Wagner have been extended, with all now running through to summer 2018. Wagner will begin to work with the double-winning U19 squad.

Euro 2016 Qualifying: Matchday Four

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Qualification for next summer’s UEFA European Championships in France has resumed, with 44 nations in action today, scoring 70 goals on a good night for teams playing at home. In the 22 matches, only 5 nations playing away from home picked-up wins.

fischerOnly one Dortmund player was involved, with Viktor Fischer having a disappointing time for Denmark in Montenegro as the home side won the Group E clash 5-2. Fischer played an hour and created just one chance, with strike partner Nicklas Bendtner scoring a brace.

Arguably the biggest winners on the night were Northern Ireland who beat Portugal 1-0 at Windsor Park with West Brom midfielder Chris Brunt scoring the only goal of the game midway through the first-half.

Elsewhere, Italy’s 100% record continues with a 2-1 win on the Faroe Islands thanks to a Fabio Borini brace, while Belgium beat Slovenia 1-0 at home through Axel Witsel’s goal to stay on maximum points. The next round of fixtures are on 05 and 09 June.

 UEFA EURO 2016 QUALIFYING, 27 MARCH 2015

  A         Faroe Islands  1-2  Italy
  A               Georgia  0-4  Ukraine
  A                Norway  4-0  San Marino

  B               Belarus  0-1  Kazakhstan
  B               Romania  1-1  Croatia
  B                Serbia  5-0  Andorra

  C                Latvia  1-1  Hungary
  C              Slovakia  5-1  Armenia

  D               Belgium  1-0  Slovenia
  D          Rep. Ireland  2-0  Scotland

  E             Lithuania  3-1  Liechtenstein
  E            Montenegro  5-2  Denmark

  F  Bosnia & Herzegovina  5-1  Luxembourg
  F                Greece  2-1  Israel

  G            Azerbaijan  2-1  Russia
  G               Finland  1-3  Czech Republic

  H               Albania  2-2  Wales
  H                 Spain  1-1  Turkey

  I           Netherlands  2-0  Macedonia
  I                Poland  1-0  Bulgaria

  J                Cyprus  1-2  Sweden
  J      Northern Ireland  1-0  Portugal

International Call-Ups From Dortmund Squad

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Twenty-three players from the Dortmund set-up have received call-ups from their respective countries for next week’s series of Euro 2016 and UEFA U21 Qualifiers, and international friendlies.

While manager Gray Surman will be with the Austrian U19 squad in the Netherlands, Hervé Matthys will be turning out for the Belgium U19 in their qualifiers at home to Latvia, Czech Republic and Moldova.

Ben Bella and Hendrik Brauer have both been selected for Horst Hrubesch’s Germany U19 squad in their friendly against Spain, a repeat of the European Championship final from July that Germany won 2-1 in extra-time.

In Euro 2016 Qualifying action, Viktor Fischer, Robert Lewandowski, Heinz Lindner, Ivan Perisic and Neven Subotic will feature for their national sides, while Stevan Jovetic will likely lead the line for Montenegro who face Germany at home next Friday.

Dennis Praet should earn his XX cap for Belgium’s U21 side as they play a friendly at home to Austria. Mustafa Amini, Leo Bittencourt, and Koray Günter have also received U21 nods.

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Roman Weidenfeller still hasn’t done enough to get a return to their national team, but eight other players are included in Joachim Löw’s squad for the qualifiers against Montenegro and Lithuania.

 Lars and Sven Bender are alongside Marco Reus and André Schürrle in the midfield. Mario Götze makes the squad ahead of Mesut Özil, which drew some criticism from the press.

Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer are included in the defensive line-up, and Andreas Beck continues to be backup to Philip Lahm.

Hervé Matthys        Belgium U19    08  QL H v. Latvia
                                    10  QL H v. Czech Rep
                                    12  QL H v. Moldova

Mustafa Amini*       Australia U21  09  FR A v. Faroe Isles

Benjamin Bella       Germany U19    09  FR H v. Spain
Hendrik Brauer

Dennis Praet         Belgium U21    09  FR H v. Austria

Andreas Beck         Germany        10  QL A v. Montenegro
Lars Bender                         14  QL H v. Lithuania
Sven Bender
Mario Götze
Mats Hummels
Marco Reus
Julian Schieber
Marcel Schmelzer
André Schürrle

Ibro Beslija         Bosnia U21     10  QL A v. Ireland
                                    14  QL H v. Ireland

Leo Bittencourt*     Germany U21    10  QL A v. Denmark
                                    14  QL H v. Denmark

Viktor Fischer       Denmark        10  QL H v. Liechtenstein

Koray Günter*        Turkey U21     10  QL H v. Scotland
                                    14  QL A v. Scotland

Stevan Jovetic       Montenegro     10  QL H v. Germany
                                    14  QL A v. Liechtenstein

Robert Lewandowski   Poland         10  QL H v. Estonia
                                    14  QL A v. Macedonia

Heinz Lindner        Austria        10  QL A v. Slovakia
                                    14  QL H v. Latvia

Ivan Perisic         Croatia        10  QL A v. Andorra
                                    14  QL A v. Kazakhstan

Neven Subotic        Serbia         10  QL H v. Belarus
                                    14  QL A v. Romania

Gray Surman (Coach)  Austria U19    08  QL A v. Netherlands
                                    10  QL N v. Andorra
                                    14  QL N v. Estonia
                              
* on loan away from Borussia Dotmund

Sven Bender Scores First International Goal

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bvb2015_70_bender-svenSven Bender scored his first senior international goal tonight in Germany’s 2-2 draw with Denmark in tonight’s opening match in the Euro 2016 Qualifiers. The 25 year-old came on for twin brother Lars in the 73rd minute, and put Germany 2-1 up in the 79th from close range.

Viktor Fischer had helped put Denmark in front in the twelfth minute in the match in Düsseldorf, when his blocked shot fell to former Ajax team-mate Lucas Andersen who slotted the visitors in front.

Philip Lahm equalised after the break before Bender’s maiden goal. After Denmark lost Niklas Bendtner to a second yellow, Lukas Podolski snatched an 85th minute equaliser.

Mats Hummels and Marcel Schmelzer played the full match in the German back four, with Mario Götze and André Schürrle being replaced at half-time by Joachim Löw. Julian Schieber came on at the break and was involved in both goals, while Marco Reus was an unused sub.

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Elsewhere across the continent, five more Dortmund players were involved in Euro 2016 qualifying action, with Ivan Perisic (Croatia) and Neven Subotic (Serbia) meeting in Osijek with the hosts running out 2-1 winners. Perisic set-up the winning goal for Mario Mandzukic after an Ivan Rakitic penalty cancelled out Aleksandar  Ignjovski’s early opener.

Heinz Lindner is establishing himself as Austria’s number-one after another fine performance in goal. He was unable to prevent the Armenian opening goal, but he had a solid game to thwart the visitors as Austria eventually ran out 3-1 winners.

Robert Lewandowski scored his 25th goal for Poland as they went down 1-5 in the Netherlands. He struck 35 seconds into the second-half after the Dutch went in at the break with a three-goal cushion. Stevan Jovetic’s Montenegro lost 1-0 in a fiery encounter in Lithuania.

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Three players represented the club in the final group matches in the UEFA U21 Qualifying for next summer’s tournament in the Czech Republic. Leo Bittencourt set-up the first goal in Germany’s 2-0 win in Andorra which saw them in Group 2.

Koray Günter was on great form for Turkey as they beat Liechtenstein 2-1 at home to qualify alongside Ukraine in Group 6. Elsewhere, Emiliano Mancinelli came on during the second-half for Italy who lost 2-0 in Spain.

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Five other Dortmund players were in action yesterday, with a number of U21 and U19 fixtures taking place. Mustafa Amini scored one and made the other as Australia went down 2-3 to England at Loftus Road in a U21 friendly. Benjamin Bella (Germany) and Hervé Matthys (Belgium) were involved in U19 friendly action.

Ibro Beslija’s Bosnia lost 3-1 at home to South Korea in a U21 friendly, but results in the UEFA qualifiers means they’ll also qualify from their group. Elsewhere, Dennis Praet came on as a half-time sub for Belgium in their 1-0 friendly win over UAE.