West Ham footballers were the first to advance to the final of the European Conference League in Prague’s Eden. The London team won 1:0 in Alkmaar in the second leg of the semi-final and followed up with a 2:1 home win. The national team captain and midfielder Tomáš Souček started for the visitors, his teammate Vladimír Coufal remained on the bench. The game in the Netherlands was decided by substitute Pablo Fornals in the fourth minute of the set time.
Coach David Moyes’ men will play for the trophy on June 7 against the better of the pair Basel – Fiorentina. Their rematch in Switzerland is extended, both teams won 2:1 away.
West Ham will appear in the final of an important European Cup after 47 years. In 1976, in the then Cup Winners’ Cup, the “Hammers” lost to Brussels’ Anderlecht 2:4.
Home team Alkmaar held the ball more often from the start and West Ham’s players mainly defended and waited. But they were the first to threaten in the 25th minute, when Paquetá hit the post from the edge of the penalty area.
The English team also concentrated on defense in the second half and did not let AZ into big opportunities. But in the 82nd minute, Kehrer almost beat Areola’s own goalkeeper, who kicked the ball at the last moment. On the other hand, Adžuird missed a promising chance.
Just before the end, the Spanish substitute Fornals decided after an individual action. West Ham remained unbeaten in the current Conference League season and won 13 out of 14 games, including the preliminary round. Alkmaar did not win for the first time in the ninth home match of the competition this year.
Rematch of the semi-finals of the European Conference League:
AZ Alkmaar – West Ham United 0:1 (0:0)
Goal: 90.+4 Fornals. Referee: Kružliak – Hancko, Pozor (all SR) – Fritz (video, German). ŽK: Souček, Kehrer (both West Ham), First match 1:2, West Ham advanced.
Alkmaar: Ryan – Sugawara, Beukema, Chatzidiakos, Kerkez (85. M. De Wit) – Mijnans (70. D. De Wit), Clasie, Reijnders – Van Brederode (78. Lahdo), Pavlidis, Karlsson (85. Meerdink) . Trainer: Jansen.
West Ham: Areola – Kehrer, Zouma, Adžuird, Cresswell – Souček, Rice, Paquetá (90.+6 Downes) – Bowen, Antonio (84. Ings), Benrahma (75. Fornals). Coach: Moyes.
FC Basel – ACF Fiorentina 1:2 (0:1) after 90 minutes
Goals: 55. Amdouni – 35. and 72. González. Referee: Sánchez – Cabaňero, Prieto – De Burgos (video, all Sp.). ŽK: Burger – Igor, Ranieri, González. First leg: 2:1, extra time.
Basil: Hitz – Lang, Noah, Pelmard – Ndoye, Xhaka (88. Free), Burger, Calafiori – Augustine (81. Zeqiri), Amdouni, Diouf. Coach: Vogel.
Fiorentina: Terracciano – Dodo, Milenkovič, Igor, Biraghi – Bonaventura, Amrabat, Castrovilli – González, Cabral, Brekalo (46. Ikoné). Coach: Italiano.
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