Moore Than Just A Club

The Hammers November International Break Man Of The Match

After as many as 14 International Hammers shined around the World over the last week, there was drama, joy, and disappointment, but just who was the pick of the bunch? As we name our West Ham United Man of the Match from The November International Break.

There could only be one man worthy of this title after all the action from the last seven days, as he Captained his Nation to their first World Cup since South Korea & Japan 2002.

That Lion of Teranga is, of course, Hammers midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate for his astounding efforts with Senegal.
In Group D of Russia 2018 Qualifying in Africa, his side headed into the Break knowing that a win in either of their two away and home clashes with South Africa would ensure a spot come next June.

The first of the matches, held in Johannesburg on Friday evening, would be plain sailing for the Senegalese as fellow Irons striker Diafra Sakho opened the scoring on 12 minutes with a neat finish.

Before, an own-goal from defender Thamsanqa Mkhize sealed the win just after the half-hour mark, leading to wild celebrations from the visitors at the blowing of the Referee’s full-time whistle.

This left the formality of the return game and with Qualification already sealed prior to the Dakar clash, Senegal Boss Aliou Cisse decided to rotate the team and rest Sakho.

But, not Kouyate in what was being treated as a victory parade tie by the home supporters, however, things didn’t go entirely to plan as a last-gasp winner from Kara Mbodji was required to claim a 2-1 triumph.

The Tuesday night clash made the headlines, not for the Football tough, with a power cut making for bizarre scenes inside The Stade Leopold Sedar Senghor, causing a total blackout.

Not that it mattered to Senegal, the big fact was that they are heading to compete in only their second World Cup Finals, where Kouyate and Sakho will be competing in their first World Cup.

In their only previous appearance on The World Stage, the aforementioned 2002 Tournament, the Senegalese National team, under the Management of Frenchman Bruno Metsu.

Much to the Footballing World’s shock, defeated defending Champions France and drew with Denmark and Uruguay to Qualify for the Knockout Stages.

A Golden Goal win over Sweden in the Round of 16 set up a Quarter-Final with Turkey that just proved one step too far for, losing to an Ilhan Mansiz Golden Goal.

The memories of that incredible period in Senegalese Football history will serve the African Nation well at next summer’s Tournament and as for Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho, they will be hoping that their form can continue under new Manager David Moyes back in The Premier League.

So, now that we have selected our Hammers International Man of the Match, do you agree with our choice? Do you think it should have been given to Joe Hart? Or perhaps Winston Reid? Head over to @MooreThanAClub on Twitter to join the debate and let us know your thoughts.