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Hammers Abroad #2: Big weeks for Sakho, Kouyate, Fonte, Arnautovic & the rest

Big moments for several Hammers players in massive qualifiers

Portugal v Switzerland - FIFA 2018 World Cup Qualifier Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

We already touched upon Joe Hart and Aaron Cresswell’s good week with England. Now, here are the other West Ham players who were on abroad in a massively important October international break.

It was a productive week for Jose Fonte, who was sublime in helping Portugal leap over Switzerland to win Group B and qualify to the World Cup without having to go to a nerve racking playoff stage.

Fonte was part of the latest wave of impervious defending from the European champions, as Portugal shut out both Andorra and the Swiss for a joyous week.

Marko Arnautovic had a productive time in a just “play for pride” week for his nation, as Austria’s disappointing World Cup campaign saw them beat Group D winners Serbia 3-2 at home and then conquer lowly Moldova 1-0 on the road. “Arnie” scored the second Austrian goal in their victory over the Serbs with a nice little finish.

With Mexico assured of a trip to Russia 2018 a month ago, Javier Hernandez added to his goalscoring tally for El Tri by securing an 88th minute goal against Trindad & Tobago in his side 3-1 over the Soca Warriors.

Chichairto did not play in the 3-2 Honduras defeat, costly Mexico a perfect 30 point campaign.

It was a happy return for Diafra Sakho, as his recent good times continued with Cheikhou Kouyate in scoring the winner for Senegal in their massive 2-0 win over Cape Verde in Group D of CAF.

The win sees the Lions of Teranga take first place in their group, as Sakho produced the telling moment of the match with his 82nd minute goal. Kouyate meanwhile was the caption for his nation again.

Sead Haksabanovic got bench time for Montenegro, coming on in the 67th minute in their 4-2 defeat to UEFA Group E winners Poland.

Winston Reid captained New Zealand and went the full 90 minutes in their 2-1 loss to Japan on Friday in Toyota. Ironically enough, Reid will face off against the Kiwi’s goal scorer on the night and other major star Chris Wood on Saturday, as Burnley will face off against the Hammers.

And for the youth, it was a big week for Irish young duo Declan Rice and Josh Cullen. I’ll let David Gold provide the news: