International Round-up: Balbuena, Benrahma and Yarmolenko in action


Fabian Balbuena battles with Luis Suarez

West Ham United trio Fabián Balbuena, Saïd Benrahma and Andriy Yarmolenko were all in action for their respective countries on Thursday night.

Balbuena started for Paraguay as they continued their unbeaten start to qualification for next winter's FIFA World Cup by drawing 0-0 away at Uruguay.

The point means they now have won one and drawn four of their opening five fixtures, keeping them above their hosts in the table and fifth in the ten-team South American qualifying process.

With four teams progressing directly to the finals and a fifth reaching a play-off, Balbuena - who won his 16th senior cap in Montevideo - will be hopeful of an appearance in Qatar.

Elsewhere, Yarmolenko moved a step closer to a century of international caps for Ukraine as he captained his country to a 1-0 friendly victory over Northern Ireland.

The 31-year-old Hammers forward now has 93 international appearances under his belt, with Thursday's win coming courtesy of an early goal from Ferencvaros winger Oleksandr Zubkov.

Ukraine are preparing for their Euro 2020 campaign, which gets underway next Sunday against the Netherlands in Amsterdam.

Finally, Benrahma was a second half substitute in Algeria's 4-1 friendly victory over Mauritania in Bilda.

Former Hammer Sofiane Feghouli was on target twice, while Benrahma collected his eighth cap.

Algeria will play two further friendlies over the next week, against Mali, also in Bilda, and away at Tunisia.