Eintracht beats West Ham in semi-final first leg

Knauff could have restored a one-goal lead for Eintracht before half-time, but his attempt from inside the box was well wide of the post.
Eintracht beats West Ham in semi-final first leg
Eintracht Frankfurt players celebrate their win over West Ham United

London: Eintracht Frankfurt winger Ansgar Knauff opened the scoring in the very first minute as his team defeated West Ham United 2-1 in the first leg of its Europa League semi-final at the London Stadium on Thursday.

Just 49 seconds into the match, Eintracht stunned West Ham when Rafael Borre delivered a cross for the 20-year-old Knauff, who headed the ball home. Unsurprisingly, the German team’s opening goal silenced the 60,000-odd ‘Hammers’ crowd.

The host had a number of chances to level the score, including a Jarrod Bowen effort in the 14th minute, which bounced off the post. The English Premier League outfit eventually equalised in the 21st minute as Michail Antonio converted from close range after centre-back Kurt Zouma got on the end of a free-kick.

Knauff could have restored a one-goal lead for Eintracht before half-time, but his attempt from inside the box was well wide of the post. However, the tourist managed to make it 2-1 in the 54th minute. West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola stopped a shot from Djibril Sow, but failed to save the follow-up strike by Daichi Kamada.

Japan international Kamada had a chance to score again in the 79th minute, with his shot from close range crashing against the post. “Of course, the early goal gave us a boost. Its (West Ham’s) goal did not bring us down. We recovered well from that,” said Knauff. In the other semi-final first leg, RB Leipzig secured a 1-0 triumph over Rangers at home.

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