June 8, 2023

CONFERENCE LEAGUE: West Ham beat AZ Alkmaar, as Basel stun Fiorentina

May 12, 2023
West Ham AZ

West Ham 2-1 AZ Alkmaar

West Ham players celebrate after Michail Antonio scored his side’s second goal during the Conference League first leg semifinal soccer match between West Ham and AZ Alkmaar at London Stadium in London, Thursday, May 11, 2023. (AP Photo/Kin Cheung)

West Ham orchestrated a remarkable second-half turnaround to defeat AZ Alkmaar 2-1 at London Stadium, with Said Benrahma and Michail Antonio leading the charge.

Benrahma leveled the score from the penalty spot, erasing the Dutch team’s lead, before Antonio sealed the victory with a close-range goal.

Tijjani Reijnders had given AZ Alkmaar the lead with a strike from outside the area four minutes before halftime, presenting a rare chance for the Dutch side.

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The Hammers, who last won a European trophy in the 1965 European Cup Winners’ Cup, showcased their determination to go far in the competition with this impressive comeback.

Fiorentina 1-2 Basel

Basel’s Zeki Amdouni celebrates after scoring during a Conference League first leg semifinal soccer match between FC Basel 1893 and ACF Fiorentina, at Artemio Franchi Stadium in Florence, Italy, Thursday, May 11, 2023. (Marco Bucco/LaPresse via AP)

In a thrilling match at Stadio Artemio Franchi, Basel staged a remarkable comeback, overturning a goal deficit to defeat Fiorentina 2-1, with Zeki Amdouni scoring the winning goal in stoppage time. Andy Diouf had previously equalized for Basel in the 71st minute.

During the first half, Fiorentina dominated the attacking play, while Basel held their ground defensively. However, in the 25th minute, Arthur Cabral broke the deadlock for the hosts with a header from a corner kick, becoming the top scorer in the competition with his seventh goal.

But Basel refused to surrender, and their persistence paid off. Andy Diouf’s equalizer in the 71st minute injected new life into the game, setting the stage for a dramatic finish. Then, in stoppage time, Zeki Amdouni emerged as the hero, securing the stunning victory for Basel.

The result marks an impressive turnaround for Basel and leaves Fiorentina stunned by the late turn of events.

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