Posted on: Friday, May 12, 2023 – 12:14 PM | Last update: Friday, May 12, 2023 – 12:14 PM
David Moyes, coach of the West Ham team, expressed his feeling of relief after overcoming a “difficult night” and the team’s victory over the Dutch AZ Alkmaar 2/1 yesterday evening, Thursday, in the first leg of the semi-finals of the European Football Conference League, but he refused to be overconfident.
Alkmaar advanced with a goal scored by Tijani Rejenders in the 42nd minute, then West Ham settled the match in his favor with two goals scored by Saeed Bin Rahma and Michel Antonio in the 67th minute from a penalty kick and 76 minutes from a penalty kick.
West Ham took a new step towards achieving the dream of winning a title for the first time in 43 years.
West Ham were favorites to win before the start of the match, but fell behind in the first half when goalkeeper Alphonse Areola made a mistake that gave Alkmaar the lead.
But Australian international Matthew Ryan, AZ Alkmaar goalkeeper, made a mistake, giving West Ham a penalty, from which Saeed Benrahma scored the equalizer.
After that, Antonio scored the decisive goal, West Ham, to facilitate the team’s task in the return match scheduled for the Netherlands next Thursday.-
David Moyes refused to be overconfident after winning the first leg, saying: “We have a slight advantage over the opponent, and nothing more than that.”-
He added, “The confrontation is very balanced. If we had lost by one goal, I would not have said that we are out of competition.”
He continued: “I’m glad we advanced, which is important. It was a difficult night.”
David Moyes added: “We went into the match after a valuable victory over Manchester United (1/0 in the English Premier League) and we only won 2/1 in the first leg of the semi-final, okay. But we have a lot of work ahead of us next week.”
And West Ham had faced a harsh lesson in the European League last season, as it conceded in the first minute of its match against Eintracht Frankfurt in the semi-final first leg, and the match ended with Eintracht winning 2/1.
In the second leg, the 17th minute saw Aaron Cresswell sent off from West Ham, and the match ended with a 1-0 win for Eintracht.
West Ham seemed on the way to going through a similar experience when Alkmaar advanced in the match yesterday, but it regained its balance in time and ended the first leg winning.