Winning goal
Jarrod Bowen's last-minute goal clinched Europa Conference League glory for West Ham United

Hammer time: West Ham strike late to win Europa Conference League

Jarrod Bowen's last-minute goal clinched Europa Conference League glory for West Ham with a dramatic 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in the final in Prague on Wednesday night.


Bowen latched onto Lucas Paqueta's pass and fired home a low finish to spark delirious West Ham celebrations at the Fortuna Arena and secure the club's first piece of major silverware in 43 years.
Earlier, Said Benrahma's 62nd-minute penalty had been cancelled out by a quickfire strike by Giacomo Bonaventura, but David Moyes' side showed impressive resilience, withstanding heavy pressure at times during the game and then striking in the 90th minute.

The victory ends a wait of more than four decades for major silverware and means they have won a European trophy for the second time in their history following the club's UEFA Cup Winners' Cup triumph in 1965. It also guarantees their place in next year's Europa League following a 14th-placed Premier League finish.

David Moyes celebrates
West Wam manager David Moyes was over the moon after winning his first major career title

Victory looked unlikely at times during a one-sided first half in which Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was left bloodied and bandaged after being hit by a plastic cup thrown from the West Ham end.

That incident was a blot on the contest and, in a boisterous atmosphere at the Fortuna Arena, following an afternoon in which fighting between fans in the city centre had led to 30 arrests, West Ham initially struggled to gain a foothold in the game.

Declan Rice, making what is expected to be his final appearance for the club, fired narrowly wide during one rare foray forward early on, but otherwise Moyes' side were largely pinned in their own half as Fiorentina monopolised possession.

The Italians' first clear chance came from a corner, delivered by Biraghi, with West Ham fortunate their slack marking was not punished as Nikola Milenkovic headed wastefully over.

It was after winning a corner in the same position that Biraghi was then struck in the head as empty cups rained down on him, the Fiorentina captain sarcastically applauding the West Ham end before realising the impact had left him bleeding.

A lengthy break in play followed as Biraghi had his head bandaged, with the stadium announcer imploring the West Ham fans to stop throwing objects before play resumed.

That warning was heeded, but the pattern of the game continued, with West Ham relieved after Luka Jovic bundled home from close range just before half-time, only for the goal to be ruled out for offside following a lengthy VAR check.

West Ham began to pose more of a threat after the break, particularly from set plays, and the breakthrough arrived when Biraghi was punished for a handball following another VAR check, with a nerveless Benrahma slamming home the resulting penalty.

Fiorentina hit back only a few minutes later, however, the excellent Bonaventura finding the far corner with a brilliantly-taken finish from Nicolas Gonzalez's knockdown to restore parity.

Fiorentina almost completed the turnaround when Rolando Mandragora shot just wide from substitute Arthur Cabral's pass, but the game continued toing and froing in the closing stages.

Tomas Soucek twice threatened for the Hammers, but it was Bowen who would be their hero, the 26-year-old keeping his cool to beat Fiorentina goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano from Paqueta's through-ball and send West Ham supporters into dreamland.

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