The midweek round of international fixtures at youth level have been kind to Chelsea’s youngsters, with goals for Jacob Mellis, Philipp Prosenik, Miroslav Stoch and Fabio Borini highlights of a very good week for the club’s youngsters.
Stoch’s goal came at Under-21 level, where Slovakia beat Cyprus 1-0. After a booking at the weekend, the winger was suspended from the senior team’s final qualifying match away to Poland, but his team-mates did enough in the torrential snow to eke out a 1-0 victory and seal their passage through to their first ever World Cup Finals as an independent nation, meaning Miro will have the world as his stage next June.
Continuing with the Under-21 representatives, Nemanja Matic played an hour for Serbia in their 3-1 defeat to Croatia, but things were better for Jeffrey Bruma and Holland, who cruised to a 4-0 win over Poland. In Waterford in the Republic of Ireland, new call-up Conor Clifford earned his first cap at Under-21 level as a 57th minute substitute at home to Switzerland. He was lively and enthusiastic throughout his spell, linking defence to attack well, and Ireland were able to rescue a stoppage time point courtesy of captain Owen Garvan.
At Under-19 level, Jacob Mellis capped a fine week for himself and his country with his third goal in three qualifying round games. After notching against both Finland and Slovenia, the Southampton loanee came off the bench for the final five minutes and found time to score the second goal of a comfortable 2-0 win over Slovakia. On the opposing team, Milan Lalkovic played 65 minutes as he continues to play three years above his age group, as he doesn’t turn 17 until later in the year. Elsewhere, Fabio Borini scored Italy’s only goal in their 1-1 friendly draw with Holland, grabbing his goal just after half time before being substituted later in the half. Jacopo Sala completed the entire match.
Finally, Philipp Prosenik scored his second of the week for Austria as they drew 1-1 with Armenia, having already sealed their passage into the Elite round of qualifying for next summer’s Finals. You can keep right up to date with everything Chelsea youth here at CFCnet and on Twitter @chelseayouth.