Plenty of Olympique Lyonnais stars were in action around the world during the October 2020 international break. Here’s a round-up of how they got on.
Sinaly Diomande and Maxwel Cornet
The big news was that Sinaly Diomande made his international debut for the Ivory Coast. It was his first call up to the squad and he ended up playing the full ninety minutes of both their friendly matches. His debut came against Belgium at the Stade Roi Baudouin in Brussels, where he played alongside Ismael Traoré and Eric Bailly as part of a back three in a 1-1 draw. Five days later he faced Japan in Utrecht, this time alongside Bailly and Odilon Kossounou in defence as The Elephants lost 1-0 to an injury time goal. His club mate Maxwel Cornet was alongside him in both matches at left wing-back, also completing the full 180 minutes. These fixtures against such high quality opposition will be an invaluable experience in the development of Diomande, who has now played more than twice as many minutes of international football as he has at club level, where he still has just 87 minutes spread over three appearance to his name.
Another international debutant was Houssem Aouar, who received his first full cap for France in a 7-1 rout of Ukraine at the Stade de France in Paris, having had to withdraw from the previous squad due to a positive Covid-19 test. He started the friendly match in midfield, alongside former Lyon team mate Corentin Tolisso, teenage prodigy Eduardo Camavinga and Steven Nzonzi. Aouar was replaced by Antoine Griezmann in the 59th minute with Les Bleus leading 4-1.
Memphis Depay played the full ninety minutes for the Netherlands at the Johan Cruijff Arena in Amsterdam as they lost 1-0 to Mexico in a friendly before travelling to Bergamo to face Italy in a UEFA Nations League match. He was again in the starting line-up and got the assist for Donny Van De Beek’s equalising goal to make the score 1-1 in the twenty-fifth minute. That’s the way it stayed and Depay remained on the pitch until he was replaced by Ryan Babel in injury time.
Jason Denayer played the full ninety minutes in both of Belgium’s UEFA Nations League matches against England at Wembley and against Iceland in Reykjavík. On both occasions we was part of a three man defence alongside Dedryk Boyata and Toby Alderweireld. They lost 2-1 against England to a soft penalty and a wildly deflected winning goal but reversed the scoreline in Iceland.
Karl Toko Ekambi
The Cameroon striker played the full ninety minutes of his country’s goalless draw with Japan at the Stadion Galgenwaard in Utrecht, ploughing a lonely furrow up front on his own. Ekambi was unable to add to his tally of three international goals.
Maxence Caqueret played the last quarter of an hour of France U21’s 5-0 victory over Liechtenstein at the Stade de la Meinau in Strasbourg, coming on as a substitute for Boubakary Soumaré of Lille. It was already 5-0 at the time of his entry. Bruno Guimarães was an unused substitute in both of Brazil’s World Cup Qualifiers against Peru and Bolivia and still awaits his first international cap. Goalkeeper Anthony Lopes and right-back Leo Dubois had to withdraw from the Portugal and France squads respectively due to positive Covid-19 tests and Caqueret tested positive after his U21 appearance and had to leave the squad.