Hibs international round-up: Euro joy for MacIntyre and Molotnikov; Kukharevych gets gametime

Hibs had six players away on international duty over the recent break – here’s how they fared…
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Jacob MacIntyre and Rudi Molotnikov – Scotland Under-17s

It was a successful international break for the Hibs academy duo, who helped Scotland Under-17s reach the finals of the European Championship in Hungary. Brian McLaughlin’s side made it back-to-back qualifications after finishing second in Group 2, progressing as one of the seven best second-placed teams from the Elite Round of qualifying.

Both players featured in all three games – off the bench in a 4-2 defeat by hosts Wales, in which Molotnikov notched an assist; from the start in a 2-1 win against Montenegro, and as second-half subs in Monday’s goalless draw with Iceland.

Jacob MacIntyre, left, and Rudi Molotnikov enjoyed a successful international breakJacob MacIntyre, left, and Rudi Molotnikov enjoyed a successful international break
Jacob MacIntyre, left, and Rudi Molotnikov enjoyed a successful international break
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Hungary had already qualified as hosts while Serbia, Wales, Netherlands, Spain, Portugal, Ireland, Croatia and France advanced as Elite Round group-winners. They were then joined by the Scots and Italy, Germany, Poland, Slovenia, Switzerland, and England as the best-placed group runners-up.

The final tournament takes place in Hungary from May 17 until June 2.

Ethan Laidlaw – Scotland Under-18s

Called up to Billy Stark’s Under-18 squad for two friendly matches against Wales, forward Laidlaw started in the first game – a 2-1 defeat for the Scots – and played 62 minutes before making way for goalscorer Julian Donnery, and was named on the bench for the second, a 2-2 draw, coming on as a 78th-minute replacement for Johnny Emerson.

Murray Johnson – Scotland Under-21s

Currently playing back-up to David Marshall, Johnson received a maiden call-up to the Scotland Under-21 squad but was an unused sub in the narrow 3-2 defeat by Sweden and 3-0 defeat by Wales in Pinatar, with Manchester City’s Cieran Slicker preferred between the sticks on both occasions.

Nohan Kenneh – Liberia

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After representing England at age-grade level, Liberian-born Kenneh, currently on loan at Ross County, chose to declare for the country of his birth earlier this month and was called into the squad for the Africa Cup of Nations qualifying double-header against South Africa. He made his debut for the Lone Stars in the first game, a 2-2 draw, playing the first half before being replaced at the break by Mohammed Sangare, with manager Ansumana Keita repeating the change in the second match, which ended in a 2-1 defeat for Liberia.

They have a slim chance of qualifying but need to beat Morocco in September, and hope South Africa lost to Morocco in June.

Mykola Kukharevych – Ukraine Under-21s

The on-loan Troyes forward was called into Ruslan Rotan’s squad for two friendly matches against Denmark and Italy. Kukharevych played the first 71 minutes of a 3-2 victory over Denmark, in which Ukraine twice led through goals by Maksym Bragaru and Oleg Ocheretko before being pegged back by a Mads Kristian Hansen strike and a Maurits Kjærgaard penalty, with Danylo Sikan scoring in the fourth minute of injury time to secure victory for Ukraine. The Hibs forward then came off the bench for the final 13 minutes of Monday’s 3-1 defeat by the Azzurri in Calabria and will likely have benefited from the gametime as he completes his return from a lengthy injury lay-off. On Wednesday he posted a video of himself doing extra training at HTC prior to Saturday’s game against Motherwell at Easter Road.

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