Mijat Gaćinović and Serbia had cause for celebration on Wednesday night, as they thrashed Russia 5-0 in the UEFA Nations League to ensure they did not finish bottom of League B Group 3. The victory allowed Gaćinović and his international team-mates to overtake Turkey and avoid relegation. The Hoffenheim man played his part in the triumph after coming on as a half-time substitute.
THREE TSG PLAYERS IN AFCON QUALIFICATION
On Tuesday, meanwhile, three TSG Hoffenheim players were involved in qualifiers for the Africa Cup of Nations. Kevin Akpoguma made his fourth appearance for Nigeria, who were held to a goalless draw away to Sierra Leone. Akpoguma played the first 75 minutes in Freetown before being substituted. The Super Eagles, who are managed by the German coach Gernot Rohr, had drawn the reverse fixture 4-4 on Friday.
Ihlas Bebou and Togo suffered their second defeat to Egypt in the space of five days. Having lost 1-0 in Cairo, the Sparrowhawks were beaten 3-1 at home. Bebou was substituted off at the interval. Diadie Samassékou, who is usually part of the Mali first-team setup, did not feature as they beat Namibia 2-1 in Windhoek.
The result means that Mali, who have only played four of their six qualifiers, have already secured their place in the Africa Cup of Nations finals, to be played in Cameroon at the start of 2022. Nigeria top their group, while Togo are no longer in with a chance of booking a berth at the continental tournament.
Kevin Akpoguma (Nigeria)
AFCON qualifier: Nigeria 4-4 Sierra Leone
AFCON qualifier: Sierra Leone 0-0 Nigeria
Ihlas Bebou (Togo)
AFCON qualifier: Egypt 1-0 Togo
AFCON qualifier: Togo 1-3 Egypt
Diadie Samassékou (Mali)
AFCON qualifier: Mali 1-0 Namibia
AFCON qualifier: Namibia 1-2 Mali
Mijat Gaćinović (Serbia)
Nations League play-off: Serbia 1-1 Scotland (4-5 on penalties)
Nations League: Hungary 1-1 Serbia
Nations League: Serbia 5-0 Russia
Sargis Adamyan (Armenia)
Nations League: Georgia 1-2 Armenia