West Ham end 43-year wait for a trophy with win over Fiorentina in Europa Conference League final

Jarrod Bowen’s last-minute winner saw West Ham end their 43-year wait for a trophy with a dramatic victory. Credit: PA

West Ham have won the Europa Conference League final 2-1 against Fiorentina in Prague.

Jarrod Bowen’s last-minute winner saw West Ham end their 43-year wait for a trophy with a dramatic victory.

The Hammers won their first piece of silverware since 1980’s FA Cup, and a first European trophy since 1965, on a historic and emotional night in Prague.

Jarred Bowen celebrates putting his side 2-1 up on Wednesday. Credit: PA

The Hammers occasionally threatened on the counter-attack in a predictably cagey first half, but it remained goalless.

They were mainly plastic pint cups, but just before half-time at least a sinister object left Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi with a nasty cut on the back of his head, forcing referee Carlos Del Cerro Grande to briefly halt play while a message over the PA system implored the fans to stop throwing missiles.

After half-time, the ball clearly hit Biraghi’s hand after Bowen controlled it with his chest, and Said Benrahma tucked the spot-kick high into the net.

But Fiorentina equalised just four minutes later when Nicolas Gonzalez won a header and the ball fell for Giacomo Bonaventura to control and fire between Rice and Nayef Aguerd into the far corner.

They almost immediately took the lead but Rolando Mandragora steered his shot wide from in front of goal.

Aaron Cresswell visibly emotional after his team's Europa League win. Credit: PA

West Ham regained their composure and Tomas Soucek, back at the home ground of his former club Slavia Prague, was twice denied by Terracciano.

Then came the big moment - Lucas Paqueta’s through-ball finally caught out Fiorentina’s high line and there was Bowen, scampering clear and slotting past Terracciano.

The wait was over and West Ham could finally celebrate some silverware.

Fans chanted “2-1 to the cockney boys” at McCarthy’s pub from the moment Bowen gave the team the lead in the final minute of the second half.

Standing on the tables, they sang “West Ham are massive everywhere we go.”

They also hugged and kissed each other as they jumped and danced around the room.

West Ham United fans celebrate their side's second goal in London. Credit: PA

Just nine weeks ago that David Moyes watched as the away fans unfurled a ‘Moyes Out’ banner during a scratchy 1-0 win over Fulham, which likely saved his job.

Now Moyes has written his name in West Ham folklore, joining Ron Greenwood and John Lyall as trophy-winning Hammers managers.

A place in next season’s Europa League means the club has qualified for Europe three seasons in a row, for the first time.

Declan Rice, destined to leave this summer but with the legacy of becoming only the third captain, along with Bobby Moore and Billy Bonds, will lift silverware in the club’s 128-year history.

The Hammers have given their fans, 5,000 of whom were – officially at least – in attendance and the 20,000-or so who just wanted to be in Prague for their first European final in 47 years, the ride of their lives.

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