West Ham beat Fiorentina to win Europa Conference League as Bowen grabs last-minute winner

The 2-1 victory in Prague ends the Hammers' 43-year wait for a major trophy

West Ham match-winner Jarrod Bowen lifts the Europa Conference League trophy. Getty
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West Ham's Jarrod Bowen scored a dramatic winner in the 90th minute to give his side a 2-1 victory against Fiorentina in the Europa Conference League final on Wednesday.

The win ended the Hammers' 43-year wait since they last lifted a major trophy, the FA Cup in 1980. And it is 58 years since they last clinched a European trophy when the great Bobby Moore captained them to glory in the European Cup Winners' Cup in 1965.

Bowen ran on to a superb through ball by Lucas Paqueta before beating goalkeeper Pietro Terracciano with a calm left-footed shot at the Fortuna Arena in Prague.

Said Benrahma had given West Ham the lead from the penalty spot in the 62nd minute after a handball by Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi.

But the Italian side equalised five minutes later through Giacomo Bonaventura’s strike from inside the box.

After the game, match-winner Bowen said: "I obviously dreamt of scoring but to score the winner in the last minute, and to do it in front of these fans, I thought I was going to cry,

"I'm just happy. I can't put it into words. We haven't had the best season, myself included, but to give the fans this moment – I'm over the Moon."

West Ham flirted with relegation for much of the season before they finally ensured their Premier League survival by finishing 14th, six points above the drop zone.

The victory over Fiorentina earns David Moyes's side a place in next season's Europa League, to give them European football for a third year in a row.

They look likely to enter the next campaign without skipper Declan Rice, who may have played his last game for the club. But what a way to go out.

After the match Rice said: "This means absolutely everything. I'm not only happy for us and the manager, I'm happy for these fans. I'm just so, so happy.

"I absolutely love this club. They've made me one of their own. I can't even describe when I talk about West Ham fans. To win this now is just another level."

Asked about where he will be playing next season, Rice said: "At the moment there's obviously a lot of speculation about my future. There is interest from other clubs out there but, ultimately, I still have two years left at West Ham.

"I love playing for this club, there hasn't been anything yet so my focus is playing for West Ham, enjoying tonight and let's just see what happens. Who knows."

There was one unsavoury moment during the match when Fiorentina skipper suffered a cut head after an object was thrown from the West Ham section of the crowd.

Updated: June 08, 2023, 8:26 AM