Aside from Farrah Williams, who played most of England's 2-1 win over Canada in the quarterfinals of the Women's World Cup, it was not a good day for Liverpool's internationals. Tiago Ilori was scheduled to start for Portugal but pulled at the last minute due to injury, leaving only the trio of Emre Can, Philippe Coutinho, and new signing Robert Firmino to feature on a day of high stakes international football.
The day started poorly, with Can's Germany U21s on the wrong side of a 5-0 defeat. The Portuguese pressed early and often, and while the Germans had a few chances early, the match was over at the half as Portgual hit Germany for three. Can looked injured or fatigued; the latter wouldn't be surprising considering the workload he's carried over the past six months, and he'll have a well deserved rest over the course of the next month before joining back up with Liverpool to round out the preseason.
Things didn't get any better for Liverpool's Brazilian contingent, with Firmino mostly ineffective for nearly 70 minutes as the favorites failed to build on an early first half lead. Coutinho was among Brazil's best on the night, but he couldn't string anything together in the final third for a side that looked frustrated for most of the night. The 23-year-old converted his penalty with confidence, though it wasn't enough as Paraguay once again knocked Brazil out of the competition in a shootout.
For everyone other than Ilori--who may yet feature in the final against Sweden--it was a day to forget, but the good news is that each of the three in the men's senior squad came through their respective competitions in full health and should be ready to finish preseason with the squad. There's a semifinal for Farrah Williams to look forward to and, as noted, another appearance potentially in the offing for Ilori before he makes his case for a spot in the squad for next season.
At least Coutinho did this:
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- Roberto Firmino Among Those Expected to Miss Liverpool's Preseason Tour