Berlin – Despite a quiet weekend of football at Hertha, Vladimir Darida and Rune Jarstein represented the cub at an international level. The Czech midfielder started for his country on Saturday afternoon in Kosovo, providing the assist for Patrik Schick’s early opener. However, the Kosovans eventually ran out with a 2-1 victory due to goals from Muriqi and Vojvoda. The 1996 European Championship runner-up lies in third place with six points in Group A, after four games played.
Rune Jarstein and Norway could only register a point after a 1-1 draw with Sweden in Solna, despite leading at the break through Johansen’s opener. The Norwegians now sit in fourth place after six games in Group F; however they remain only two points behind their Nordic neighbours in second place. “I can’t fault my players, they put out a fantastic performance,” said Norway’s head coach Lars Lagerbäck after the game. “We still have a great chance of qualifying. We can now build on this performance!”
Belfast next up for Stark – Duda and Pekarik go to Hungary
Niklas Stark is still waiting for his first appearance for the German national team. His next opportunity to be selected comes on Monday evening, as the 2014 World Champions take on Northern Ireland in their European Championship qualifier in Belfast. After their recent 4-2 defeat against the Netherlands, Germany are now in a precarious position. “Northern Ireland are currently top of the group, we need to do everything we can to get the win. We need the three points,” asserted Germany’s head coach.
Ondrej Duda and Peter Pekarik find themselves in a similar position with Slovakia, who sit in third place in Group E, picking up six points after four games. Their upcoming opponents, Hungary are above Slovakia in the table; therefore it’s crucial that they pick up the three points in Budapest.