In international news, two San Jose Earthquakes players featured for their countries Thursday, but the outcome was far from happy.
Vako and Guram Kashia both started for Georgia in their Euro 2020 playoff final match against North Macedonia in Tbilisi, but North Macedonia reached the Euros following a 1-0 win, with Goran Pandev scoring just before the hour mark to give North Macedonia their first-ever major tournament berth.
Vako lasted in the match until second-half stoppage time and Kashia exited in the 88th minute, but it’s a bitter result for Georgia, who were themselves looking to get to a major tournament for the first time, but fell at the final hurdle.
They will attempt to pick themselves up and dust themselves off quickly, with two UEFA Nations League League C group stage matches coming up in the next week, against Armenia on Sunday and Estonia on Wednesday, both in Tbilisi. If they can get results in those games, they have a good chance of finishing the group in first place and getting promoted to League B, which would be quite an achievement for Georgia.
It’s worth noting that because of these games, the Earthquakes duo won’t be available for the playoff game on Nov. 22 against Sporting Kansas City, because they won’t be able to return to the United States and clear quarantine in time. The silver lining is neither player has been an important player in games for the Earthquakes since the team turned its season around, so they were unlikely to be in line for major minutes in the playoffs anyway.
So, condolences to Vako and Kashia, but best of luck as they continue their international duty.
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