Diafra Sakho scored a 90th minute winner as West Ham secured a 1-0 victory over Swansea in an English Premier League encounter at the London Stadium on Saturday.
Sakho, 27, had just been recalled to Senegal squad ahead of next week’s Russia 2018 Fifa World Cup Qualifying game against Cape Verde, after persistent back problems had kept him out of the national team frame for two years.
Amid boos from the Hammers’ faithful, Slaven Bilic kept faith in the forward as his side searched for a goal that evaded them against their stubborn visitors.
West Ham 1-0 Swansea. Irony! Diafra Sakho, whose sub appearance was booed by home fans, keeps Slaven Bilic (a man he loathes) in a job.— Terry L (@AMoCS) September 30, 2017
Bilic brings on Masuaku and Sakho.— Dave 父 (@WestHamUtdDave) September 30, 2017
•West Ham ‘fans’ still complaining
Sakho and masuauku should be starting every game!— West Ham Family (@westhamfam) September 30, 2017
And, alongside fellow substitute and Man of the Match Arthur Masuaku, the Senegalese repaid the Serb’s faith.
On the stroke of full time, Masuaku delivered an inch perfect cross for Sakho - at the back post - who fired into the roof of the net past Lukasz Fabianski between the sticks for the Swans' to gift the hosts victory.
The goal was his first in the EPL this season, third in all competitions after his two strikes in the English League Cup.
Aliou Cisse will be banking on him, club teammate Cheikhou Kouyate - who played the entire duration against Paul Clement’s men - and 24 others to help defeat the Blue Sharks men at Estádio Nacional de Cabo Verde on October 7.
Senegal are placed third in African Qualifying Group D, a point behind leaders Burkina Faso and second-placed Cape Verde.
But they still stand a chance to grab a ticket to Russia with three matches still to play after the 2-1 loss to South Africa was ordered to be replayed on grounds of ‘match manipulation’ by the referee.