Juan Carlos Paredes’ dreadful week continued when he was sent off for his country in a World Cup qualifier.
Already reeling from being left out of Watford’s Premier League squad and seeing a move to Reading fall through, Paredes was given his marching orders on 76 minutes after receiving a second yellow card in the World Cup qualifier against Brazil. Brazil were already 1-0 up through Neymar but scored twice more, through Gabriel Jesus, after the right-back was sent off. He will now miss the qualifier with Colombia on Wednesday, reducing his opportunity for game time even further.
Also in South America, Adalberto Penaranda, the forward on loan at Udinese, played 50 minutes of Venezuela’s 2-0 defeat to Colombia in the World Cup qualification tie on Thursday. Real Madrid’s James Rodriguez scored one and made the other. Another cap for his country will, however, help Penaranda’s UK work permit process.
In the African Cup of Nations, Adlene Guedioura may have started every competitive game under Walter Mazzarri but he sat unused on the Algeria bench on Sunday in Milovan Rajevac’s first game in charge. Guedioura sat and watched El Arbi Soudani and Riyad Mahrez both score twice in a 5-0 win over Lesotho. The North African side have qualified for the competition as group winners, meaning Watford could be without the midfielder between January 14 and February 5 next year.
Nigeria are the shock absentee from the tournament in Gabon — and they ended a disappointing African Cup of Nations qualifying campaign with an underwhelming 1-0 win over a Tanzania side who Algerian put seven past. Odion Ighalo played the full 90 minutes and the good thing for Mazzarri is that Nigeria have no game in midweek, meaning Ighalo should be back at London Colney early this week. Last season he returned from international duty on the eve games, at home to Manchester United and away at Arsenal, and performed dreadfully.
Jose Holebas should return in good spirits after he played the full 90 minutes in Greece’s shock 2-1 friendly win in Holland. Buoyed by his first goal for Feyenoord last weekend, Steven Berghuis started for Holland on the right of a front three and was booked before being replaced after 75 minutes. Holebas and Greece are back in action, in World Cup qualifying, against Gibraltar on Tuesday.
Also in World Cup qualifying, Costel Pantilimon made his first competitive international start in 18 months on Sunday, keeping goal for Romania at home to Montenegro. The giant keeper would have thought it was going to be a winning return to the side when Adrian Popa put them one up with five minutes to go, but former Manchester City man Stevan Jovetic drew Montenegro level two minutes later. And there was still time for Nicolae Stanciu to blaze a penalty high over the bar in the seventh minute of injury time.
Valon Behrami, who has made noises about switching his international allegiance to Kosovo, isn’t in action until Tuesday when Switzerland host Euro 2016 winners Portugal. His involvement, and the speed of his recovery, will be a factor in whether he’s picked to start at West Ham, his former club, on Saturday.
And finally, Obbi Oulare came on as an 83rd-minute substitute in Belgium Under-21’s 3-2 win over Malta. He had lost his place in the squad due to his inactivity at Watford.