Soccer-Eintracht beat West Ham 2-1 in first leg of Europa League semis

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London, Apr.29 (BNA): Eintracht Frankfurt winger Ansgar Knauff opened the scoring in the first minute as they beat West Ham United 2-1 in the first leg of their Europa League semi-final on Thursday, with both teams seeking their first European final in over 40 years.

 

The last time the two teams met in the semi-finals of a European competition, West Ham won the two-legged tie to reach the 1976 Cup Winners’ Cup final, reports Reuters. 


The visitors, however, stunned David Moyes’ men 49 seconds into the first half when Rafael Borre set up Knauff with a cross from the corner of the box and the 20-year-old headed home, silencing the sold-out 60,000 crowd at the London Stadium. 


After sending home heavyweights Barcelona in the quarter-finals, Eintracht players did not want to waste the opportunity presented to them in the last four. 


The Premier League side eventually equalised in the 21st minute after Kurt Zouma connected with a free kick and nodded on to forward Michail Antonio, who made it 1-1 from close range.


Knauff could have given Eintracht the lead again before halftime but his attempt from inside the box was well wide of the right post. 


But Eintracht regained the lead in the 54th. West Ham keeper Alphonse Areola stopped a shot by midfielder Djibril Sow but did not manage to save the follow-up strike by Daichi Kamada. 


The Japan international, who netted his fifth Europa League goal this season, had a chance to score again in the 79th minute but his shot from close range crashed against the post.


AHN