International round-up: Coventry and Cardoso in action

Conor Coventry (No6) and Republic of Ireland U21s

Two developing West Ham United stars represented their respective international youth sides on Thursday afternoon, enjoying mixed results.

West Ham U23s captain Conor Coventry once again played an instrumental role for Republic of Ireland U21s as the Boys in Green got their 2021 UEFA European Under-21 Championship qualification campaign back on track in Armenia.

Going into the game just a point ahead of nearest challengers Iceland in Group 1, Coventry’s recent experience – the match marked his sixth consecutive start, and his tenth at this level – proved welcome in a much-changed Republic of Ireland U21s line-up.

With Coventry pulling the strings in midfield, Stephen Kenny’s team went on the front foot at the FFA Academy Stadium in Yerevan, missing several big chances to go ahead before half-time.

The decisive goal ultimately came in the 63rd minute when 18-year-old Norwich forward Adam Idah pulled the ball back for Zachary Elbouzedi to fire home from inside the area.

Despite Ireland losing captain Dara O’Shea to a red card fifteen minutes later for a professional foul, the team clung on to a 1-0 victory that stretches their lead at the top of the group to four points, albeit with Iceland having two games in hand.

Coventry’s regular U23 team-mate Gonçalo Cardoso was also in international action on Thursday for Portugal U20s.

The central defender will take great pride in sporting the captain’s armband for his nation in a friendly international at the Municipal Stadium in Agueda.

The visitors ultimately proved too strong on the day, winning 4-0 through a brace from Stoke City’s Tyrese Campbell (one penalty), Manchester City’s Ian Poveda and Arsenal’s Emile Smith Rowe.

Coventry’s next Euro U21 qualifier will next take place at Adams Park against group rivals Iceland on Tuesday night, while Cardoso could next be in action at home to Germany U20s on Monday evening.