A nervy West Ham made it two wins out of two in the Europa Conference League as Gianluca Scamacca’s stunner helped them come from behind to beat Silkeborg 3-2 in Denmark.
After trailing Romanian side FCSB in their opening game last Thursday, West Ham had to dig deep again but Scamacca’s thumping effort, along with Manuel Lanzini’s penalty and Craig Dawson’s header, ensured they avoided a potential upset on an artificial pitch at JYSK Park.
Silkeborg had taken a fifth-minute lead through Kasper Kusk’s brilliant first-time strike but the Hammers hit back eight minutes later when Lanzini converted his spot-kick after Maxwel Cornet had been pushed over in the box.
Scamacca, who scored two goals in qualifying against Silkeborg’s domestic opponents Viborg, then empathically put the Hammers ahead in the 25th minute before a Nicklas Helenius goal was ruled out for a dubious foul on West Ham goalkeeper Alphonse Areola.
Thirteen minutes later, Aaron Cresswell and Dawson – both back in the starting line-up following injury – combined from a corner to score what proved to be the match-winning goal.
With West Ham cruising, David Moyes introduced Jarrod Bowen in the second half, but a mistake from the England international saw Silkeborg surge forward before Soren Tengstedt smashed the ball past Alphonse Areola to give the hosts a lifeline in the 75th minute.
With the Hammers desperately holding on, Areola then produced a fine one-handed save late on to deny Silkeborg substitute Tonni Adamsen a memorable equaliser. The result means West Ham top Group B after matchday two. Silkeborg are bottom after Anderlecht and FCSB drew 0-0 in Romania.
West Ham’s next game sees them travel to Everton in the Premier League on Sunday, live on Sky Sports (kick-off 2.15pm).
After the international break, the Hammers host Wolves – live on Sky Sports – and Fulham either side of their next Europa Conference League clash away at Anderlecht on October 6 (kick-off 5.45pm).
October 6: Anderlecht (A) – kick-off 5.45pm
October 13: Anderlecht (H) – kick-off 8pm
October 27: Silkeborg (H) – kick-off 8pm
November 3: FCSB (A) – kick-off 8pm