AZ Alkmaar 0-1 West Ham (agg: 1-3): Hammers reach Europa Conference League final

West Ham United reached their first major European final since 1976 after they overcame AZ Alkmaar in their Europa Conference League semi-final.

David Moyes’ side soaked up plenty of pressure at AFAS Stadium until Pablo Fornals scored on the counter-attack in second-half injury time.

The night, however, was soured by unpleasant scenes off the pitch.

AZ Alkmaar fans attacked an area in which friends and family of the West Ham players were watching the match.

West Ham will face Fiorentina, who beat Basel in extra time in the other semi-final.

The Hammers are hoping to lift their first major trophy since they lifted the 1980 FA Cup; they were one of three winners of the 1999 Intertoto Cup.

Hammers end 47-year wait for final

West Ham’s last European final had been in the 1975-76 Cup Winners’ Cup when they lost 4-2 to Anderlecht.

They came agonisingly close to breaking that duck last season, losing 3-1 on aggregate to eventual winners Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League semi-finals.

This time around they were disciplined, keeping their hosts at arm’s length for much of their second leg.

Paqueta clipped the outside of the post in the 26th minute after good work from Michail Antonio, while captain Declan Rice forced a good save from AZ keeper Mat Ryan shortly after the restart.

Defender Nayef Aguerd also dragged an effort wide from close range in the 82nd minute, before Pablo Fornals raced clear in injury time and buried the ball into the bottom corner to seal the tie.

It means the Hammers have an opportunity to win a first European trophy since they lifted the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.

It would cap off a fine turnaround for Moyes’ side, who were booed by their own fans on 5 April when they suffered a 5-1 home defeat by Newcastle to leave them just a point clear of the Premier League relegation zone.

The Hammers are 15th in the table with two games left, and need just a point across their final two league games to mathematically confirm their safety.

AZ second-best against mighty West Ham

Eredivisie side AZ were in their first European semi-final since losing to Sporting Lisbon in the last four of the 2004-05 Uefa Cup.

The 1981 Uefa Cup finalists had enjoyed an impressive European run, beating Lazio in the last 16 and coming from two goals down to beat Anderlecht on penalties in the quarter-finals.

They threw everything at West Ham in the closing stages – and Hammers defender Thilo Kehrer nearly caught out keeper Alphonse Areola with a risky back-pass.

And defender Kurt Zouma was relieved not to have been penalised for a handball in the area, with the video assistant referee deciding not to overturn Slovakian referee Ivan Kruzliak’s non-penalty call.

Despite opening the scoring in London last week, AZ slumped to a 3-1 aggregate defeat. They need one more point from their final two league fixtures to secure a top-four finish and qualify for next season’s Europa Conference League qualifiers.

Player of the match

FornalsPablo Fornals

with an average of 8.80

AZ Alkmaar

  1. Squad number1Player nameRyan

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  2. Squad number31Player nameBeukema

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  3. Squad number16Player nameMijnans

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  4. Squad number5Player nameKerkez

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  5. Squad number11Player nameKarlsson

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  6. Squad number8Player nameClasie

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  7. Squad number2Player nameSugawara

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  8. Squad number3Player nameHatzidiakos

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  9. Squad number9Player namePavlidis

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  10. Squad number6Player nameReijnders

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  11. Squad number35Player nameMeerdink

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  12. Squad number19Player namevan Brederode

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  13. Squad number34Player namede Wit

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  14. Squad number10Player namede Wit

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  15. Squad number23Player nameLahdo

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West Ham United

  1. Squad number8Player nameFornals

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  2. Squad number11Player nameLucas Paquetá

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  3. Squad number41Player nameRice

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  4. Squad number27Player nameAguerd

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  5. Squad number9Player nameAntonio

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  6. Squad number4Player nameZouma

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  7. Squad number13Player nameAréola

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  8. Squad number24Player nameKehrer

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  9. Squad number18Player nameIngs

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  10. Squad number22Player nameBenrahma

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  11. Squad number28Player nameSoucek

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  12. Squad number3Player nameCresswell

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  13. Squad number20Player nameBowen

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  14. Squad number12Player nameDownes

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AZ Alkmaar

Formation 4-3-3

  • 1Ryan
  • 2Sugawara
  • 31Beukema
  • 3Hatzidiakos
  • 5KerkezSubstituted forde Witat 85′minutes
  • 16MijnansSubstituted forde Witat 70′minutes
  • 8Clasie
  • 6Reijnders
  • 19van BrederodeSubstituted forLahdoat 78′minutes
  • 9Pavlidis
  • 11KarlssonSubstituted forMeerdinkat 85′minutes


  • 10de Wit
  • 12Verhulst
  • 14Mihailovic
  • 23Lahdo
  • 25Bazoer
  • 27Vanheusden
  • 28Buurmeester
  • 34de Wit
  • 35Meerdink
  • 46Goes
  • 54Deen

West Ham

Formation 4-3-3

  • 13Aréola
  • 24KehrerBooked at 64mins
  • 4Zouma
  • 27Aguerd
  • 3Cresswell
  • 28SoucekBooked at 60mins
  • 41Rice
  • 11Lucas PaquetáSubstituted forDownesat 90+5′minutes
  • 20Bowen
  • 9AntonioSubstituted forIngsat 85′minutes
  • 22BenrahmaSubstituted forFornalsat 75′minutes


  • 1Fabianski
  • 2Johnson
  • 5Coufal
  • 8Fornals
  • 10Lanzini
  • 12Downes
  • 14Cornet
  • 18Ings
  • 21Ogbonna
  • 33Emerson
  • 49Anang
  • 72Mubama

Ivan Kruzliak

Match Stats

Live Text

Post update

Match ends, AZ 0, West Ham United 1.

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