African trio Eric-Maxim Choupo-Moting , Nabil Bentaleb and Abdul Rahman Baba all featured as their Bundesliga side Schalke suffered a 1-0 defeat to Bayer Leverkusen on Sunday.
Ten-man Schalke were stunned by a late Stefan Kiessling header at home after long periods of sustained pressure.
This was Schalke’s third consecutive defeat after losses to RB Leipzig and Salzburg in the Europa League in midweek.
Brazilian defender Naldo forced Markus Weinzeirl’s side to play with ten men for 86 minutes after he was sent off for a tackle on Javier Hernandez only four minutes into the game.
Cameroon international Choupo-Moting saw the game out as he led the Royal Blues’ attack alongside Yevhen Konoplyanka whilst Ghanaian international Baba returned to the starting lineup after impressing against Salzburg despite defeat.
Choupo-Moting could not add to his three goals already this campaign as the restricted side were reduced to minimal goal scoring opportunities despite putting up a brave fight.
The 27-year-old would be happy with the turn-out though as he looks to impress Hugo Broos ahead of the 2017 Africa Cup of Nations’ team selection.
Ghana coach Avram Grant will be thrilled with Baba playing his second consecutive 90 minutes ahead of his final selection for the Afcon also.
The 22-year has struggled to maintain a regular starting berth at Schalke and he is also headed for the Afcon with the Black Stars.
Algerian midfielder, also Afcon-bound, Nabil Bentaleb was brought on for Max Meyer in the 79th minute but could not help his side avoid defeat.
Given his form of late, Bentaleb is expected to definitely make Georges Leekens’ list for the continental showpiece.
Schalke are expected to lose the players due to the Afcon in January and it remains to be seen how they are going to cope without the trio.
Join GhanaStar.com to receive daily email alerts of breaking news in Ghana. GhanaStar.com is your source for all Ghana News. Get the latest Ghana news, breaking news, sports, politics, entertainment and more about Ghana, Africa and beyond.