David Moyes won the first major European title of his managerial career while also ending West Ham United’s trophy drought since 1980 and their first major European title since 1960 when they defeated Italian side Fiorentina 2-1 in the UEFA Europa Conference League final played in Prague Czech Republic on Wednesday.
The Hammers had a terrible League season where they only managed to finish above the relegation places. They had no hope of playing in Europe next season other than winning the Conference League.
They needed to beat another club that was hoping to end its trophy drought on the European scene, which also stretches as far back as the 1960s.
Both teams went into the break level without a goal to report from a dry first 45 minutes; however, the game spot into life in the second half when West Ham United were awarded a penalty in the 62nd minute.
Said Benrahma opened the scoring from the spot kick, although West Ham United’s lead lasted just 5 minutes after Bonaventura equalized for the Italians with a low strike.
It all looked like there would be a need for extra time and a penalty shootout until Jarrod Bowen scored the winner on the 90th-minute mark to ensure that the Hammers became the second-ever winner of the Conference League and also sealed their European status for the fifth consecutive season.
“This is fantastic. I have had a long career in football, and you don’t get many moments like this. These sorts of moments as managers don’t come around often. This is a great moment for us. If somebody had said three years ago when I took the job that you’d avoid relegation and finish in Europe, and I’d said you were mad. This competition has been great for us; the players have been remarkable.” Moyes said.
West Ham United will become England’s third team in the UEFA Europa League next season after Liverpool and Brighton, who qualified for the league.
Daniel Ademiju Idowu