West Ham into Conference League final after Fornals finishes off AZ Alkmaar

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  • AZ Alkmaar 0-1 West Ham (agg: 1-3)
  • Hammers seal place in first European final in 47 years

All the drama came at the end, Pablo Fornals settling the tie deep into added time and the moronic reaction of some thuggish AZ Alkmaar fans briefly threatening to ruin West Ham’s evening. The mood had turned acrid at the AFAS Stadion, with hooligans shaming the beaten hosts when they found the pain of defeat too much to bear and responding to the final whistle by charging at the pitchside section housing West Ham’s sponsors, club officials and the team’s families.

It was carnage for a few minutes, David Moyes’s players understandably furious when they realised what was happening. Yet it would not be long before Declan Rice, West Ham’s imperious captain, was leading his teammates towards the away end to celebrate Moyes’s resilient side reaching their first European final in 47 years. They had done so by keeping their cool and, for all that West Ham’s lack of care in possession made the second leg of this Europa Conference League semi-final unnecessarily anxious at times, nobody could dispute that they deserved to go through after winning 3-1 on aggregate.

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Written by Jacob Steinberg at AFAS Stadion
This news first appeared on https://www.theguardian.com/football/2023/may/18/az-alkmaar-west-ham-europa-conference-league-match-report under the title “West Ham into Conference League final after Fornals finishes off AZ Alkmaar”. Bolchha Nepal is not responsible or affiliated towards the opinion expressed in this news article.