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West Ham United
2 - 1
S. Benrahma (67 pen)
M. Antonio (75)
T. Reijnders (41)
West Ham United v AZ Live Commentary,
Brought to you by
2 - 1
1 - 1
0 - 1
Shots Off Target
Shots On Target
That's all for today, goodbye.
West Ham will be looking to complete the job when they head to AZ next Thursday. However, their attention now turns to ensuring their place in the Premier League, with the Hammers heading to Brentford. As for AZ, they host Emmen in the Eredivisie.
West Ham edge closer to the Europa Conference League final after a narrow 2-1 victory over AZ. Bowen had the first chance of the game, heading over Rice's cross, with Benrahma denied the opener after a stunning save from Ryan. The away side remained defensively solid and broke the deadlock just before the break. Mijnans raced forward and played a one-two with Van Brederode, setting a pass into the middle towards Reijnders. The midfielder rushed onto it and struck a low effort past Areola. AZ controlled the game after the restart but handed the Hammers a lifeline. Ryan missed a cross and punched Bowen in the face inside the box, with Benrahma converting the following penalty. The momentum turned and Moyes' hosts scored a second. Rice's cross found Aguerd who had his header kicked off the line. However, the clearance dropped kindly for Antonio, with the striker poking it in from close range.
90' + 3'
FULL-TIME: WEST HAM 2-1 AZ
90' + 1'
Aguerd gets into an unfamiliar position and is wrestling for the ball next to the corner flag in AZ's half. He comes away with possession and curls a cross into the box, but it goes straight to Ryan.
Benrahma has been a constant threat on the left but is now coming off. Fornals is given the last few minutes to make an impact in the West Ham attack.
Sugawara rushes forward from his right-back position to receive possession and sends a low pass into the feet of Pavlidis. He takes one touch before unleashing a shot but Aguerd gets in the way to make the block.
Bowen has the ball on the right and pushes it past De Wit before flashing a low cross into the box. Ings is a poacher and usually on the scene when a chance arrives, but does not make the run into the open space. Bowen is not impressed with him or Benrahma.
Benrahma has another shot to try and secure a brace, but he runs into a number of AZ defenders before seeing his attempt blocked.
That's almost a wonderful third for West Ham. Ings races to the byline to keep the attack alive and flicks a pass into the feet of Benrahma inside the box. The winger bursts forward and curls a shot at the goal but misses the target by a distance. He created the chance with a direct surging run but lacked composure with the finish.
Cresswell misjudges a switch of play from left to right, allowing Lahdo to gain possession just outside the box. The AZ man gets past the left-back to find space for a shot, but Aguerd gets across to cover and make the block.
M. van Brederode
AZ make another substitution. Van Brederode was one of their best players for most of the game but has been quiet in the last 20 minutes. Mihailovic is on.
West Ham make their first change of the game. Antonio scored the Hammers' second goal but is now being given a deserved rest. Ings takes his place in the attack and will lead the line.
Kehrer looks for a third. He bursts down the right wing and cuts inside with Paqueta wanting it in the middle. However, the right-back ignores his call and strikes his effort well wide of the target.
GOALLLLL! ANTONIO SCORES! 2-1 WEST HAM! The home side have turned the score around. Bowen's corner is flicked towards Rice by Zouma. The Hammers captain keeps the attack alive and chips a cross to Aguerd. His header is cleared off the line, but Antonio is there to poke it in at close range.
Bowen feeds a pass down the right flank with Kehrer rushing forward. However, he takes too long on the ball and allows De Wit to get back and block his cross.
West Ham have reached the semi-finals of a major European competition for the fifth time in their history and for the second consecutive season, being eliminated by Eintracht Frankfurt at this stage in the Europa League last season. They looked to be struggling in this first leg, but the penalty has turned the momentum in their favour. They now look like the team more likely to score the second.
Zouma is down in the middle of the AZ box after a corner was taken. Hatzidiakos made minimal contact with the centre-back who is now back to his feet.
AZ make their first change straight after the goal. Odgaard was a doubt for the game and is now coming off. Lahdo takes his place.
GOALLLL! BENRAHMA SCORES! 1-1! The Algeria international makes no mistake from the spot. Under immense pressure, Benrahma powers the ball into the bottom-left corner. Ryan goes the correct way, but he is beaten by the pace and the accuracy of the strike.
Ryan has conceded a penalty and been given a yellow card after punching Bowen in the face when going for the ball.
PENALTY TO WEST HAM! West Ham have not been at the races since the restart, but Ryan has made a huge blunder that has given them a chance to level the score. Bowen gets to a cross into the middle of the box just before Ryan, with the goalkeeper hitting the winger in the face. Referee does not hesitate before making the decision.
Van Brederode puts his hands in the air in frustration. Odgaard has possession just outside the box and looks to have the option of a simple throughball to the winger. However, he waits too long and Van Brederode is offside.
Bowen has the first chance of the half after Paqueta flicks a pass towards him. He gets to a loose ball before Hatzidiakos and cuts inside on the left before looking for the near post with a powerful strike, but his effort goes just wide!
The home fans are growing increasingly frustrated with their side. They would have wanted to see a reaction after going behind just before the break, but the Hammers have not had a shot and have allowed AZ to control the game.
Clasie goes into the book seconds after Paqueta for moaning at the referee.
The second yellow card of the game goes to Paqueta for a foul inside AZ's half. He was frustrated and brought down Hatzidiakos.
Aguerd has nobody around him and dribbles forward before chipping the ball into the box. However, it is nowhere near Antonio as it floats into the gloves of Ryan. The striker appreciated the attempt but will be disappointed with the execution.
Kehrer looks to have been beaten by a clever flick from Van Brederode on the left flank next to the byline, but he stays on the winger and forces him to play a pass backwards.
Antonio (five goals, one assist) and Bowen (four goals, two assists) have both been directly involved in six goals in the Conference League this season, the joint-most among West Ham players. Indeed, these two are the Hammers' most prolific players in European competitions this century (both 10). The pair have been lively so far but have not been able to seriously challenge the resolute AZ defence.
Benrahma delivers a dangerous cross into the box that is knocked behind by the AZ defence. Bowen's corner is punched away by Ryan before being cleared back to the winger, but his second cross is poor and goes straight off the pitch for a goal-kick.
Mijnans looks to get his second assist of the game and slides a pass towards Odgaard who rushes towards the box, but the ball does not have enough pace on it. Aguerd wins the race and comes away with possession.
The game is back under way. No changes at the break.
West Ham must do more to get Antonio into the game. When they have found the striker, AZ have struggled to deal with his physicality and pace. Paqueta has been good at bringing possession into the final third and laying passes into the feet of Benrahma and Bowen, but the full-backs have done well to nullify the danger. As for the away side, they will be happy with the performance in the opening 45 minutes. Playing with a solid defensive foundation, they have been patient in the opposition half and have not looked to put aimless crosses into the box. Instead, they have tried to work openings and scored as a result.
Reijnders scored the only goal of the half just before the break to give AZ a 1-0 lead. Mijnans was imperative, with the midfielder coming away with the ball in his own half before sending a pass out to the left to Van Brederode. The winger approached the box before giving it back before completing the one-two, with Mijnans playing it across to Reijnders who struck his effort into the bottom corner. West Ham had the first couple of chances in the game. Bowen headed Rice's cross over the bar before Benrahma had their best opportunity. The winger got the better of Beukema before sending a powerful effort towards the goal, but Ryan was equal to it and pushed the ball wide. Van Brederode, Clasie and Mijnans all had chances to score the opener for AZ, but their efforts failed to test Areola.
45' + 2'
HALF-TIME: WEST HAM 0-1 AZ
There will be two minutes of additional time.
Soucek makes the most of a loose touch from Mijnans before finding Benrahma down the left. The Algeria international floats a cross into the middle for Paqueta to attack, but it hits his back. Ryan then makes a simple save.
AZ have won all six of their games when scoring first in the Europa Conference League this season.
Mijnans was at the heart of the goal, coming away with possession in West Ham's half before unleashing Van Brederode. Continuing his run, he receives it back before finding Reijnders who does the rest.
GOALLLLL! 1-0 AZ! Mijnans breaks forward before sending a pass out to the left to Van Brederode. He gets it back from the winger before sliding a pass into the middle with Reijnders approaching the edge of the box. He then strikes a low shot from distance that finds its way into the bottom corner. Areola could have done better.
Benrahma has possession just inside AZ's box on the left and hovers on it with nobody in an away shirt waiting to get too close to him to close him down. He looks to curl an effort at the goal, but Ryan makes a simple save.
Pavlidis has not had a lot of the ball but does brilliantly well down the right to get to the byline and flash a cross into the middle of the box. However, nobody is there to get on the end of it. He is usually the player ready to receive it in that position.
Benrahma runs over the ball on the left, allowing Cresswell to curl a cross into the box. Antonio gets his head on the delivery and directs it into the middle of the box, but nobody is there. AZ then get it away from danger.
Paqueta has been driving West Ham forward this game, this time carrying the ball before laying it down the left to Benrahma. The former Brentford man then looks for the run of Cresswell, but Clasie matches his advances and blocks the cross.
The referee stops the game after Odgaard goes down holding his head. Rice's elbow brushed against his nose with Paqueta shocked at the decision to pause play. After a short delay, the game resumes.
Aguerd moves out of his centre-back position and dribbles past a couple of AZ players on the way to the edge of the box. He has options around him but goes for glory and gets it all wrong, shooting well wide of the target.
Kehrer looks to put a long throw into the box with Soucek at the front post. However, he is marked by two players and AZ clear the ball away.
Paqueta bursts into AZ's half and pushes away the challenge of Reijnders. The former Lyon man then tries to play the ball into the path of Antonio, but his pass is intercepted.
Mijnans looks to slide the ball into the path of Pavlidis, but Zouma intercepts it. The centre-back can only find Van Brederode on the left who plays it back across to Mijnans, but he shoots well over.
Bowen has not had a lot of the ball and looks to turn past De Wit and Reijnders on the right. However, he is crowded out by the pair, with AZ coming away with possession.
Benrahma has a shot from a distance but curls his effort wide of the left post. Ryan was watching it all the way and did not look concerned at any point.
West Ham have looked defensively solid so far. They have conceded just 0.6 goals per game in the Europa Conference League this season (six goals in 10 matches), the lowest tally among teams with 3+ appearances in the competition this term. Indeed, only Fiorentina (+19) have a better goal difference than the Hammers (+18) in the Conference League this term.
Van Brederode has been a constant threat on the left wing for AZ. This time he receives the ball from Reijnders before shifting it onto his right foot, but his curling effort from outside the box goes straight at Areola. It was at a good height for the goalkeeper.
M. de Wit
De Wit is the first player in the book after a late tackle on Benrahma.
Good play from West Ham. Antonio gets to the ball before Hatzidiakos around the halfway line and pokes a pass to Benrahma before getting it back from the winger. Antonio then lays the ball across to Paquetá and rushes into AZ's box wanting it back, but the pass is too far in front of him and goes out for a goal-kick.
SAVE! What a stop from Ryan. Benrahma gets the better of Beukema and whips a powerful effort towards the bottom corner, but the AZ goalkeeper is equal to it and pushes the ball around the post.
Odgaard has the ball just outside West Ham's box and sets it back to Clasie who rushes forward. The former Southampton man drives a shot towards the goal but it goes well wide of the target.
Paqueta receives the ball in the middle of West Ham's half before unleashing Antonio with a pass down the left flank. The striker makes a surging run towards the box and looks to play the ball into the path of Bowen who makes a run forward, but it goes past the England international and behind for a goal-kick.
AZ have won just two of their previous 14 meetings with English clubs in Europe (drawing five, losing seven), having lost all six away games against such opponents by an aggregate score of 5-20.
CHANCE! The first opportunity of the game goes to West Ham. Benrahma has the ball next to the byline on the left and decides to play it back to Rice on the edge of the box. The Hammers captain then puts a cross into the area towards Bowen but he heads it well over the bar.
Van Brederode gets the ball on the left flank and cuts inside. On the corner of the box, he looks to curl a cross into the middle, but it goes over everyone and out for a goal-kick.
AZ have had most of the ball in the opening few minutes and are passing it around their half looking for an opening. Captain Clasie is in the middle of the pitch and is always looking to receive possession.
Benrahma tries to slide a throughball down the left channel with Antonio bursting forward, but Sugawara slides across to put it out for a throw-in.
AZ get this Europa Conference League semi-final clash under way. Pavlidis with the first kick.
This will be the first ever meeting between West Ham and AZ in European competition.
As for AZ, Pascal Jansen makes one alteration to the team that drew with Ajax in the Eredivisie. Milos Kerkez is suspended and is replaced at left-back with De Wit coming in. Odgaard suffered a thigh injury in the previous match but is fit enough to start on the right wing.
West Ham make two changes to the team that beat Manchester United in the Premier League. Areola replaces Fabianski in the goalkeeping position to keep his regular place in the Europa Conference League, with Zouma coming back from injury to start instead of Ogbonna at centre-back.
AZ SUBS: Hobie Verhulst, Daniel Deen, Djordje Mihailovic, Yusuf Barasi, Mayckel Lahdo, Riechedly Bazoer, Riechedly Bazoer, Zico Buurmeester, Mexx Meerdink, Wouter Goes.
AZ (4-2-3-1): Mathew Ryan; Yukinari Sugawara, Sam Beukema, Pantelis Hatzidiakos, Mees de Wit; Jordy Clasie, Tijjani Reijnders; Jens Odgaard, Sven Mijnans, Myron van Brederode; Vangelis Pavlidis.
WEST HAM SUBS: Lukasz Fabianski, Joseph Anang, Ben Johnson, Pablo Fornals, Manuel Lanzini, Flynn Downes, Maxwel Cornet, Danny Ings, Emerson, Freddie Potts, Divin Mubama.
WEST HAM (4-2-3-1): Alphonse Areola; Thilo Kehrer, Kurt Zouma, Nayef Aguerd, Aaron Cresswell; Tomas Soucek, Declan Rice; Jarrod Bowen, Lucas Paqueta, Said Benrahma; Michail Antonio.
AZ are in a strong position to finish in the top four of the Eredivisie and are just two points behind third-placed Ajax after their goalless draw with the current champions in their last game. They collected 15 points from their six games in Group E of the Europa Conference League and impressed in their first knockout match, beating Lazio 2-1 both home and away. Their next tie was more difficult, losing 2-0 to Anderlecht in Belgium before recovering in the second leg to level the aggregate score and win on penalties. This is the first time since the 2004-05 season that they have reached the semi-final stage of a European competition (losing to Sporting CP in the UEFA Cup).
West Ham have almost secured their place in the Premier League for next season as they are now seven points clear of the drop zone with just three games left to play. David Moyes’ men beat Manchester United in their previous fixture, meaning that almost all of their focus can be on winning the Europa Conference League. The Hammers cruised through the group stage of the competition, winning all six of their games, before thrashing AEK Larnaka 6-0 on aggregate in the round of 16. Gent proved to be a sterner test, but a thumping 4-1 victory at London Stadium helped them progress to this stage after a 1-1 draw in the first leg.
Hello and welcome to the live commentary for the Europa Conference League semi-final clash between West Ham and AZ.