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Sunderland internationals: no-shows for Ndong & Kone, Oviedo shines & McGeady’s attacking cameo

Several Sunderland players have been in action during the past 48 hours on international duty, with some concern and confusion perhaps over the no-shows of Didier Ndong and Lamine Kone.

Sunderland v Middlesbrough - Premier League Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Sunderland’s Bryan Oviedo and Aiden McGeady put in decent showings on international duty whilst new boy Jonny Williams and old head John O’Shea were unused subs for Wales and the Republic of Ireland respectively.

Confusion shrouds Didier Ndong’s latest no-show for Gabon as they were comfortably beaten by Lamine Kone’s Ivory Coast but the Black Cats centre-back played no part in the game either.

Sunderland youngster Elliot Embleton scored a debut goal for the England under-19s as the Young Lions put seven past Poland. Here’s the detail of how the Black Cats fared on international duty.


Sunderland left-back Oviedo played 76 minutes as Costa Rica dented the USA’s World Cup qualifying hopes with a 2-0 victory in New Jersey.

The 27-year-old put in a good performance as the Central American visitors upset their hosts to the north with a counter-attacking display.

Oviedo offered plenty going forward, displaying a wing-back prowess that Sunderland fans haven’t often seen since his January arrival at the Stadium of Light. The Costa Ricans host Mexico on Wednesday night.

Costa Rica v United States - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier
Oviedo in action for Costa Rica at the Red Bull Arena in New Jersey
Photo by Jeff Zelevansky/Getty Images

Summer signing McGeady came off the bench last night as the Republic of Ireland drew 1-1 with Georgia in Tbilisi.

A 61st minute introduction, the Sunderland winger was the most threatening option in attack for Martin O’Neil’s side during the final third of the game but had the Irish groaning after skying a golden opportunity deep into injury time. Black Cats defender John O’Shea spent the evening on the Eire bench.

Sunderland Under-23 prospect Embleton scored in the 15th minute of the young Lions rout of their Polish counterparts. The England Under-19s next play Germany on Tuesday night at Mansfield Town’s ground.

Sunderland v Tottenham Hotspur - Premier League 2
Elliot Embleton in action for Sunderland’s Under-23s last month
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Mystery appears to surround Sunderland midfielder Didier Ndong’s absence from the Gabon side thrashed by the Ivory Coast last night.

The 23-year-old was involved in a row over who would wear the captain’s arm band with the African country’s sports minister intervening.

Cardiff’s Bruno Ecuele Manga appeared to be given the nod over Ndong who has led his nation’s team in recent games with suggestions the Black Cats player left the Gabonese camp as a result.

Angst has followed the Gabonese national side in recent years with political and social strife at home adding to the tension. Talisman Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was also missing from this latest game with no official explanation given.

Ndong was forced to offer an apology last year after skipping training ahead of a World Cup qualifier against Comoros.

Ivory Coast fielded a strong side but Sunderland centre back Lamine Kone didn’t feature. The 28-year-old had been expected to play a part in the game and may have picked up an injury with the Black Cats lining up against Sheffield United next weekend.