New Delhi, June 8 (IANS) Jarrod Bowen scored the winning goal in the 90th minute as West Ham United secured an incredible 2-1 win over AFC Fiorentina to lift the UEFA Europa Conference League trophy. This was West Ham’s first major continental title since the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup and a first piece of silverware since 1980’s FA Cup.
West Ham made it through the whole campaign unbeaten with their final record standing at 14 wins and one draw.
“This year we’ve gone unbeaten in Europe, which is incredible. Being in the Europa League next season will be a thrill again. The moments when you win at the last minute of the game and get to celebrate with your family don’t happen often. It can go against you but tonight is a brilliant feeling. This competition has been great for us; the players have been remarkable,” West Ham manager David Moyes told BT Sport.
Moyes becomes the first Scottish coach to win a UEFA competition since Sir Alex Ferguson claimed the Champions League title with Man United in 2008.
After a goalless first half in the final in Prague, West Ham went ahead from a penalty awarded following a VAR review for a handball by Cristiano Biraghi on the hour.
Four minutes later, Fiorentina equalised on 67 minutes, when Giacomo Bonaventura fired a low volley into the bottom corner.
As the match ticked into additional time at the end of the second half, Lucas Paqueta played in Bowen, who kept his composure to finish into the far corner.
Fiorentina finished as the top scorers in this season’s Europa Conference League with 37 goals with West Ham being second on that list with 29.
Having won their first major trophy since 1980, West Ham will join Liverpool and Brighton & Hove Albion in the 2023/24 UEFA Europa League.