IMFC international watch

Raitala, Taïder, Piette and Pantemis all called up by their respective national teams

The Impact has no games scheduled until Toronto FC visits on Sunday, October 21, at 3pm (TICKETS – TVA Sports, TSN, 98,5fm, TSN Radio 690), but that doesn’t mean there aren’t any games played without consequence for its players. Four among them were called up by their respective national teams for international games, while D.C. United, the Impact’s closest pursuer in the standings, will play its two games in hand against FC Dallas and Toronto FC. But for now, let’s focus on the Impact players travelling all over the world to represent their countries.

Jukka Raitala
Estonia 0-1 Finland
Finland 2-0 Greece, Monday, October 15, at 2:45pm EDT in Tampere
UEFA Nations League C

The Finns are on a roll! They are perfect after four games, having beaten Greece 2-0 without giving up a single shot on target. Finland’s defensive rigour, to which Jukka Raitala plays an integral role, he who has played every available minute so far, allows the Huuhkajat to top their group with a six-point lead over the Greeks, having allowed just six shots on target over four games. One little point from their two remaining games, away to Greece and against Hungary in November, would mean promotion to League B and a berth in the Euro 2020 qualifying play-offs.

Saphir Taïder
Algeria 2-0 Benin
Benin 1-0 Algeria
Africa Cup of Nations qualifying

Mission accomplished for the Fennecs and their new manager Djamel Belmadi, who cleanly beat Benin 2-0 at home. Saphir Taïder started and played the whole game, helping his team get very close to an Africa Cup of Nations berth. The Algerians did however lose the away game in Benin. The loss, in which Taïder was not involved, leaves Algeria at the top of its group, tied with Benin and two points in front of Togo.

James Pantemis and Samuel Piette
Canada 5-0 Dominica
Concacaf Nations League qualifying

It’s a second goal fest in a row for the Canadians, who this time eclipsed Dominica. The two Impact players selected by John Herdman were not used, but native Montrealers Ballou Tabla and Zachary Brault-Guillard made their debut with the Reds, good news for what is already being called the maple leaf’s golden generation.