West Ham Beat Fiorentina To Make History With ECL Final Win
West Ham ended their 43-year wait for a major trophy as Jarrod Bowen scored a last-minute goal to beat Fiorentina 1-2 and win the Europa Conference League in Prague.
The final seemed to be heading for extra time after Said Benrahma’s second-half penalty was cancelled out just seven minutes later by a well-taken effort from Giacomo Bonaventura.
It was a testy and sometimes bad tempered game – and at one point it got downright ugly as Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was struck by a plastic bottle thrown from the West Ham section.
The match was settled in the most dramatic manner.
Bowen timed his run to perfection as Lucas Paqueta slid a superb pass through the Fiorentina defence.
The England man ran free, steadied himself, then beat Pietro Terracciano with a calm finish to thrill the Hammers fans – who were far greater in number than the 5,000 tickets they were allotted – and send manager David Moyes running down the touchline to celebrate the first major silverware of his career.
It mean captain Declan Rice, in probably his final game for the club, emulated club greats Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds by leading the club to glory. Moore captained West Ham to the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup and Bonds led them to the FA Cup in 1975 and 1980.
The victory also seals a place in next season’s Europa League and means European football for the third year running for the first time in the club’s history.
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