Skipper Cheik plays as Senegal draw

  • Cheikhou Kouyate captained his Senegal side as they recorded a 1-1 draw against Nigeria at Barnet's Hive Stadium
  • Declan Rice was also in winning action for the Republic of Ireland's U19s
  • On Wednesday, Robert Snodgrass helps Scotland to 1-1 international friendly draw with Canada in Edinburgh

West Ham United midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate captained his Senegal side on Thursday night as they recorded a 1-1 draw against fellow African outfit Nigeria at The Hive Stadium, home of Barnet FC.

The 27-year-old, who is now the national side's regular skipper, was making his 34th appearance for the Lions of Teranga in the friendly fixture.

Fenerbahce forward Moussa Sow, who is on loan from UAE side Al-Ahli, gave Senegal the lead ten minutes into the second half as he found the bottom corner from inside the box.

But seven minutes before the end, Manchester City starlet Kelechi Iheanacho converted from the penalty spot to level things in north London.

Kouyate will next travel to Paris with his international teammates to contest another all-African friendly, as Senegal face the Ivory Coast at the Stade Sebastien Charlety.

Elsewhere on Thursday, the Hammers' U23 captain Declan Rice helped his Republic of Ireland U19s squad to a vital UEFA European Championship victory over Italy.

The young Boys in Green, facing the Italians in the Elite Round phase of the competition, had Wolves forward Conor Levingston and Birmingham man Ronan Hale to thank as they were the goalscorers in Belgian town Hamme.

Rice, who was recently named the Republic of Ireland's U17 Player of the Year, played the full 90 minutes for his side.

On Wednesday, Robert Snodgrass became West Ham United’s first Scotland international in ten years as he featured in the Tartan Army’s 1-1 friendly draw with Canada.

And the winger, signed from Hull City in January, nearly celebrated the occasion with a goal, only for his first half effort to come back off the post.

As it was, Scotland had to make do with a draw, with Norwich City’s Steven Naismith equalising after Fraser Aird – who plays in Scotland for Falkirk – had given the Canadians a shock lead at Easter Road in Edinburgh.

Snodgrass, who became West Ham’s first Scotland international since Christian Dailly in May 2007, completed the full 90 minutes as his nation prepared for Sunday’s FIFA World Cup qualifier with Slovenia in Glasgow.

Scotland go into that game knowing defeat would leave their chances of reaching next summer’s finals in Russia hanging by a thread, and manager Gordon Strachan has labelled the tie ‘must-win’ after 3-0 defeats in England and Slovakia.

"He's right in what he says," Snodgrass, who netted a hat-trick in his country’s opening 5-1 qualifying win in Malta last year, told BBC Scotland. "The lads know that. We know we need to get back to winning ways.

"When you lose games against Slovakia and England, you're going to get the criticism that goes with it.

"We need to be ready and we need to take our chances when we get them on the night."

Sunday’s tie with Slovenia will be screened live in the UK by Sky Sports 1, with kick-off at Hampden Park at 7.45pm.

Elsewhere on Wednesday, Reece Oxford appeared as a second-half substitute as England kicked-off their UEFA European U19 Championship Elite Round qualifiers with a 3-0 win over Norway at St George’s Park.

England take on Spain – who thrashed Belarus 5-0 on Wednesday – at the same venue on Friday, before facing Belarus on Monday.

Only the group winners will qualify for this summer’s finals in Georgia.