West Ham make Europa Conference League history with big win in Romania


The West Ham youngster carved out a small slice of European history with a 3-0 victory over Romanian side FCSB in Bucharest.

Two goals from Pablo Fornals and a deflected effort from teenage debutant Divin Mubama saw the Hammers, already through to the Europa Conference League Round of 16, become the first side in the competition to win all six of their group stage matches .

David Moyes was able to give 14 senior players the night, including Declan Rice, Jarrod Bowen, Kurt Zouma and Michail Antonio.

Still, it was still a mature performance from a line-up featuring the debut of 16-year-old midfielder Oliver Scarles and 18-year-old hometown striker Mubama, along with teenage substitutes Freddie Potts, Keenan Appiah- Forson, Kamarai Swyer and Kaelan Casey.

The rookie debutants almost combined for a first goal after 22 minutes, with Scarles whipping in an inviting low cross.

Mubama arrived at the perfect moment to bring the ball home but placed his effort too close to home goalkeeper Ștefan Tarnovanu, who saved with his legs.

Moments later, Tarnovanu made a fine save to deny Flynn Downes after encountering a cross from Fornals.

But it was Fornals who broke the deadlock and scored his first European goal for the Hammers, five minutes before half-time.

The Spanish midfielder let Ben Johnson’s long ball bounce past him on his left foot before firing a superb first time past Tarnovanu.

There was more than a hint of offside when Fornals pulled clear, but with no flag raised and no VAR at this stage in Europe’s third-tier competition, the goal was valid.

Defender Nayef Aguerd was millimeters from a second before the break when his header was cleared off the line by Alexandru Pantea.

Mubama was then inches away from converting another Scarles cross, before the Newham-born teenager’s big moment came in the 55th minute.

Downes smuggled the ball to Vladimir Coufal on the right and his cross was headed in by Mubama, via a Joyskim Dawa deflection.

The third came from a cross from the impressive Scarles, which Tarnovanu delivered straight to Fornals, who crushed the loose ball into the net to cap off a hugely satisfying night for West Ham.

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