David Moyes’ heavily-rotated West Ham United side hosted FK TSC Bačka Topola on Thursday evening, with the Hammers returning to European competition for the first time since their infamous UEFA Europa Conference League victory in Prague.
WHU: Fabianski; Cresswell, Ogbonna, Mavropanos, Kehrer; Fornals, Ward-Prowse; Benrahma, Paquetá, Kudus; Ings
TSC: Simic; Petrovic, Dordevic, Antonín, Cvetkovic; Kuveljic, Stojic, Dakovac, Radin; Jovanovic, Stanic
With the rain flooding down at the London Stadium, the hosts were expectedly the brighter side throughout the first half – but Nikola Simić was on hand to deny Thilo Kehrer the opener.
Against the run of play, TSC Bačka Topola were able to pounce on a woeful error from Angelo Ogbonna at the start of the second half. With the Italian defender caught in possession on the halfway line, Petar Stanić was able to dart through towards goal, slotting a calm effort past Lukasz Fabianski to send the small travelling contingent into raptures.Embed from Getty Images
Just under twenty minutes later, the Hammers drew themselves level through an unfortunate Nemanja Petrović own goal. Saïd Benrahma was able to beat his marker on the left flank with a tidy cutback, whipping a cross into the box that bundled over the line after clipping the defender’s heel.
Mohamed Kudus would fire West Ham into the lead soon after, latching onto a James Ward-Prowse corner to slam a headed effort past Simić.
And with the game largely wrapped up and TSC Bačka Topola having admitted defeat, Tomás Souček was on hand to add insult to injury with an 82nd minute header. Once more, Ward-Prowse registered the assist – and his corner deliveries have become a crucial part of West Ham’s goalscoring prowess this term.Embed from Getty Images
West Ham return to UEFA Europa League action on 5 October, as they travel to SC Freiburg’s Europa-Park Stadion. TSC Bačka Topola will host Olympiacos on the same date.