Fiorentina vs. West Ham United – Football Match Report – June 7, 2023 – ESPN
Jarrod Bowen scored in the 90th minute as West Ham United secured a last-gasp 2-1 victory over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday to clinch a first major European trophy in over half a century.
The match at Prague’s Eden Arena looked like it was heading to extra time when Lucas Paqueta slipped a ball through to Bowen who outpaced the defenders and fired past Fiorentina keeper Pietro Terracciano.
“I obviously dreamed of scoring, but to score the winner in the last minute. It’s what you always say you want to do. To do it in front of these fans. I thought I was going to cry. I’m just happy,” Bowen told BT Sport.
West Ham took the lead in the 62nd minute when Said Benrahma converted a penalty after a VAR review confirmed a handball by the Italian side’s captain Cristia
West Ham took the lead in the 62nd minute when Said Benrahma converted a penalty after a VAR review confirmed a handball by the Italian side’s captain Cristiano Biraghi, who had earlier received medical attention after being struck on the head by a plastic cup thrown from the stands.
Fiorentina immediately stepped up the pace after going behind and were rewarded five minutes later when Giacomo Bonaventura controlled the ball with two defenders on him and sent an angled shot past West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola.
Both sides struggled to create much in a nervy opening half with Fiorentina controlling possession but lacking a cutting edge in the final third, while West Ham had long spells without the ball.
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When the referee blew the final whistle, the West Ham players raced to the corner to celebrate in front of their fans who reveled in the team’s first win in a European final since they lifted the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.
Asked if it was the best moment in his career, West Ham manager David Moyes said: “I would have to say so. The moments you get to celebrate with your family and win in the last minute of the game, it doesn’t happen often. It can go against you but tonight is a brilliant feeling.
“If somebody had said three years ago when I took the job that you’d avoid relegation and finish in Europe and I’ve said you were mad.
“This competition has been great for us, the players have been remarkable.”
The supporters of both teams made their presence felt in a noisy atmosphere. UEFA had allotted only 5,780 tickets to each club, leaving legions of supporters unable to attend the match at Slavia Prague’s stadium with a capacity set at 18,000 for the final.
“It hurts to lose like this. We played well but we can’t concede such an easy goal in the final minutes. The team gave their all but in certain situations we have to be more concentrated – keep controlling the game and pressing. In finals, small details make the difference,” said Fiorentina defender Nikola Milenkovic.
Many thousands of West Ham supporters instead watched the match in bars and fan zones aground the city. Earlier in the day, Czech police said they had detained 16 Fiorentina supporters after they attacked West Ham fans in a local bar and a police officer.