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Last-minute Bowen goal wins West Ham first Europrean title in 58 years

West Ham's Declan Rice lifts the trophy after winning the Europa Conference League final soccer match between Fiorentina and West Ham at the Eden Arena in Prague, Wednesday.
West Ham's Declan Rice lifts the trophy after winning the Europa Conference League final soccer match between Fiorentina and West Ham at the Eden Arena in Prague, Wednesday. Copyright Petr David Josek/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
Copyright Petr David Josek/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
By Euronews with AP
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The London team only finished 14th in the Premier League but won 13 out of its 14 European games and has secured a place in the Europa League next year.

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West Ham ended a 58-year wait for a European trophy on Wednesday after Jarrod Bowen scored in the 90th minute to secure a 2-1 win over Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final.

Bowen ran onto a through ball by Lucas Paqueta before beating goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano with a left-foot shot to complete a quick attack at the Eden Arena.

Fiorentina couldn't answer despite nearly eight minutes of injury time being played, setting off wild celebrations among the West Ham players as they danced in front of their fans after winning the London club's second ever European title and first since the old European Cup Winners’ Cup in 1965.

“It’s what you always say, you want to score in the last minute a winner. And to do it in front of these fans, I thought I was going to cry,” Bowen told reporters.

Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
West Ham's Jarrod Bowen scores his side's second goal during the Europa Conference League final soccer match between Fiorentina and West Ham at the Eden Arena in Prague.Darko Vojinovic/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

West Ham only finished 14th in the Premier League but went unbeaten through their European campaign, coming through qualifying before winning 12 out of 13 games in the tournament. 

The win also means it earns a berth in the Europa League next season.

“I’ve had a long career in football and you don’t get many moments like this," said West Ham coach David Moyes, whose job was under threat earlier in the season as the team was struggling near the relegation zone in the league.

It is Moyes' first major trophy after a 25-year managerial career that has spanned more than 1,000 games, including stints at Everton and Manchester United. 

Moyes became the first Scottish coach to win a UEFA competition since 2008, when Alex Ferguson claimed his second Champions League title with Man United.

Petr David Josek/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved
West Ham coach David Moyes celebrates with the trophy after winning the Europa Conference League final soccer match between Fiorentina and West Ham at the Eden Arena in PraguePetr David Josek/Copyright 2023 The AP. All rights reserved

Saïd Benrahma had given West Ham the lead from the penalty spot, sending goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano the wrong way in the 62nd minute.

Fiorentina equalized five minutes later through Giacomo Bonaventura’s strike from inside the area. Bonaventura collected a header from Nicolás González and beat the goalkeeper with a right foot-shot that squeezed between two West Ham players.

Fiorentina dominated possession in the first half and nearly took the lead just before the break when Christian Kouamé’s header bounced off the post. Luka Jović headed home the rebound but the goal was disallowed for offside.

Declan Rice, the 24-year-old West Ham captain who was probably playing his last game for the club, became the second West Ham captain after England great Bobby Moore to lift a European trophy.

Fiorentina has been waiting even longer than West Ham for a European title, having also won the Cup Winners’ Cup in 1961.

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