Brighton & Hove Albion trio Jose Izquierdo, Leon Balogun and Mathew Ryan all represented their countries in the FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia over the last month.
Matthew Ryan, Albion’s and Australia’s number one goalkeeper, took 27 members of family to support him in Russia for the World Cup series.
Ryan were placed in a challenging group, which included: France, Denmark and Peru. The Socceroos fell to a 2-0 defeat against Peru in Sochi, as Andre Carrillo’s first-half strike and a Paolo Guerrero goal after the break put an end to their campaign.
Summer signing Leon Balogun represented Nigeria in Russia, but the Super Eagles’ campaign ended in the group stages after being beaten 2-1 by Argentina in the decisive group game.
Lionel Messi opened the scoring with a powerful strike, before Chelsea’s Victor Moses levelled the scores from the penalty spot, which put Nigeria on course for a place in the last 16. But Marcos Rojo ended their dream of progressing into the knockout stages with a fantastic close-range effort which secured the second qualification spot in Group D.
Jose Izquierdo featured for 70 minutes of Colombia’s 2-1 defeat to Japan in their first match of the group stages.
He remained as an unused substitute for the rest of their campaign, as the South American nation went on to reach the knockout stages and faced England at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow in the last 16.
After a score of 1-1 after 120 minutes of football played, the game went to a penalty shootout. Colombia narrowly missed out on a place in the quarter-finals after losing 4-3 in a nail-biting penalty shootout.
Well done to all three Albion players.