Tuesday 12 Jun
Updated Tuesday 12 Jun 09:04
First Team

Kouyate helps Senegal to World Cup warm-up win over South Korea

Cheikhou Kouyate in Senegal colours

 

Cheikhou Kouyate featured as Senegal completed their 2018 FIFA World Cup preparations with a 2-0 win over South Korea.

The West Ham United midfielder and Lions of Teranga captain returned to the starting XI after missing Friday’s 2-1 defeat by Croatia with a minor knee problem.

And Kouyate’s presence in the team, along with that of former Hammers centre forward Diafra Sakho, was clearly of benefit to the West African nation, who scored two second-half goals to overcome their fellow Russia 2018 qualifiers.

After a goalless first half, an own-goal from Kim Young-gwon put Senegal in front on 67 minutes before a penalty from Amiens forward Pape Moussa Konate a minute into added time made sure of victory.

Kouyate earned his 41st cap in the warm-up fixture, which took place behind-closed-doors at the Untersberg-Arena in the town of Grodig in central Austria.

Senegal kick-off their quest to become the first African team to win a World Cup when they take on Poland in their Group H opener in Moscow next Tuesday afternoon.

Following that, Kouyate and company will take on Japan in Ekaterinburg on Sunday 24 June and Colombia in Samara on Thursday 28 June.

Senegal have only qualified for one previous World Cup finals, in 2002, when they beat holders France and Sweden on their way to the quarter-finals.