West Ham edge AZ Alkmaar secures first round victory.


West Ham United came surging back with goals from Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio to beat AZ Alkmaar of the Netherlands 2-1 after trailing at halftime in the first leg of their Europa Conference League semifinal on Thursday.

Tijani Reijnders’ long-range goal gave the Dutch visitors an unexpected lead in the 41st minute, but Benrahma’s penalty in the 67th minute brought the teams level, and Antonio scored the game-winning goal nine minutes later.

West Ham forced the win after more uncertainty from Ryan at a corner, as he failed to come off his line and allowed Declan Rice to chip the ball into the danger zone where Nayef Aguerd’s header was cleared off the line by Yukinari Sugawara, only for Antonio to poke the rebound into the net.

There were further chances for Benrahma, Bowen and substitute Danny Ings in the closing stages as West Ham looked for a larger lead to take to the return leg, knowing that AZ have won all eight home matches in this season’s Europa Conference League.

In other results Fiorentina lost 2-1 at home to Fc Basel, Roma won 1-0 against Leverkusen, Juventus drew 1-1 against Sevilla.