The guys delivered in the Nations League: 38-year-old made his national team debut for Holland – 35-year-old became France’s oldest national team goalscorer ever

Ten matches were played in the Nations Lague group stage on Thursday. Old is oldest, showed Holland’s goalkeeper Remko Pasveer and France’s striker Olivier Giroud.

In Thursday evening’s Nations League round, ten matches were played with Croatia-Denmark, France-Austria, Holland-Poland and Belgium-Wales as the top matches. All favorites delivered.

Croatia opened the scoring through Borna Sosa and held the lead for just under half an hour until Christian Eriksen equalized in the 77th minute. Unfortunately, the Danes did not have time to enjoy Eriksen’s finish for very long – a couple of minutes later, Lovro Majer established the final score 2-1 at the Maksimir Stadium in Zagreb.

In the second match of the tough A1 group, France beat Austria on schedule 2-0 after goals from Kylian Mbappé and Olivier Giroud.

With the goal, the 35-year-old Giroud became France’s all-time oldest goalscorer in the national team. AC Milan striker Giroud took the record from Roger Marche who was 70 days younger when he netted for Les Bleus in 1959.

Giroud is just two goals behind Thierry Henry on the list of France’s top national team goalscorers:

1. Thierry Henry, 51: first goal 1998–last/latest goal 2009
2. Olivier Giroud, 49: 2012–2022
3. Antoine Griezmann, 42: 2014–2021
4. Michel Platini, 41: 1976–1986
5. Karim Benzema, 37: 2007–2022
6. David Trézéguet, 34: 1998–2006
7. Zinedine Zidane, 31: 1994–2006
8. Jean-Pierre Papin, 30: 1986–1994
9. Just Fontaine, 30: 1953–1960
10. Kylian Mbappé, 28: 2017–2022

For France, the victory was the first in this year’s Nations League, and the country is now on 5 points just ahead of group jumbo Austria on 4 points. Croatia top the group with ten points ahead of Denmark with 9 points after five rounds.

National team debut at a mature age

In the A4 group, Holland and Belgium draw from Poland and Wales. Holland won away to Poland 2–0 thanks to goals from Cody Gakpo and Steven Bergwijn.

The most celebrated hero of the match may still have been Holland goalkeeper Remko Pasveer who made his debut for the national team at the ripe old age of 38 years (and 318 days). The rather late debut of the handsomely graying Pasveer’s national team is still not entirely unique: goalkeeper colleague Sander Boschker still holds the record for Dutch national team debutants. He was 39 years and 224 days young when he made his international debut in 2010.

Ajax goalkeeper Remko Pasveer made his national team debut as a 38-year-old.

Image: IMAGO/Newspix/All Over Press

At the King Baudouin Stadium in Brussels, there was no doubt which team was better when Belgium faced Wales. Belgium held the ball for 72 percent and only occasionally lent it to the Welsh, who were content with 28 percent of possession.

Although Wales managed a tie on shots on goal, 4–4, the Belgians won on total shots 19–10.

The match itself ended 2–0 after goals from Kevin de Bruyne and Michy Batshuayi.

Holland is first in the A4 group with 13 points from five games, Belgium is in the shadows with 10 points from as many games. Poland have four points, Wales one.

Luxembourg completed the Benelux’s fine night of football by holding 3-3 against Turkey at the Fatih Terim Stadium. Luxembourg, not least thanks to a Turkish own goal, even had a chance of winning, but Ismail Yüksek equalized in the 87th minute. Turkey tops the table in the C1 group while Luxembourg is second.

Finland meets Romania

Finland’s men’s national team are chasing their first ever victory over Romania in Friday night’s chilly clash at the Olympic Stadium in Helsinki.

At the time of writing, Finland is third in the B3 group with 4 points ahead of Romania, who have only scraped together 3 points in four games. Leads Bosnia-Herzegovina with 8 points ahead of Montenegro with 7 points.

The Nations League program also includes six other matches around Europe, with Italy-England at the San Siro in Milan as the given highlight.

Both teams have started the Nations League badly: England is last in the A3 group with 2 points, Italy second last with 5 points. Hungary tops with 7 points ahead of Germany with 6 points.

Nations League 22.9.2022:

Croatia–Denmark 2–1
France–Austria 2–0
Poland–Holland 0–2
Belgium–Wales 2–0
Kazakhstan–Belarus 2–1
Latvia–Moldova 1–2
Slovakia–Azerbaijan 1–2
Lithuania–Faroe Islands 1–1
Liechtenstein–Andorra 0–2
Turkey–Luxembourg 3–3

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