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Gianluca Scamacca scores first West Ham goal in Europa Conference League win over Viborg as Hearts lose at Zurich in Europa League

BY SkySports
08.18.2022
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West Ham beat Danish side Viborg 3-1 at home in first leg of Europa Conference League play-off; new signing Gianluca Scamacca scores first Hammers goal as Jarrod Bowen and Michail Antonio net at the London Stadium; Hearts suffer 2-1 defeat at Zurich in first leg of Europa League play-off

Thursday 18 August 2022 22:10, UK

West Ham United's Gianluca Scamacca (left) celebrates with team-mate Manuel Lanzini after scoring their side's first goal of the game during the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off, first leg match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday August 18, 2022.

Gianluca Scamacca celebrates scoring his first goal for West Ham since joining for £35.5m from Sassuolo last month

Gianluca Scamacca scored his first West Ham goal as the Hammers began their latest European campaign with a 3-1 win over Danish club Viborg.

Italy striker Scamacca, who joined last month from Sassuolo in a £35.5m deal, netted a first-half header on his full debut.

Jarrod Bowen added a second after the break and although Viborg pulled one back, Michail Antonio rounded things off with the third.

It gave the Hammers some breathing space ahead of the second leg of this Europa Conference League qualifying play-off in Denmark next week as they bid to make the group stages of Europe’s third-tier competition.

West Ham United's Jarrod Bowen (left) celebrates with team-mate Maxwel Cornet after scoring their side's second goal of the game during the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off, first leg match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday August 18, 2022.

Jarrod Bowen (left) celebrates scoring West Ham’s second with new team-mate Maxwel Cornet

West Ham were without Declan Rice and Aaron Cresswell, as well as Moyes, with all banned for various indiscretions in the agonising Europa League semi-final defeat to Eintracht Frankfurt in May.

It had also been a tough build-up for Viborg for what was probably the biggest night in their history after two players, Nigerian winger Ibrahim Said and Gambia forward Alassana Jatta, were denied entry into the country due to visa rules post-Brexit.

Nevertheless, burly striker Jay-Roy Grot was proving a handful up front for the visitors, especially for stand-in Hammers skipper Angelo Ogbonna who was making his first appearance in nine months after a cruciate injury.

But Moyes watched on from the stands as almost £50m worth of his summer acquisitions combined to give West Ham a 24th-minute lead.

West Ham United's Michail Antonio (centre) celebrates scoring their side's third goal of the game during the UEFA Europa Conference League play-off, first leg match at the London Stadium, London. Picture date: Thursday August 18, 2022.

Michail Antonio came off the bench to score West Ham’s third and final goal

Former Burnley winger Cornet worked his way to the byline, cut back inside and lifted over a cross for Scamacca to head home at the far post.

Viborg were providing a sporadic threat and when Cornet gave the ball away Grot was sent through on goal, with Alphonse Areola racing out to save with his legs.

The second goal arrived in the 64th minute when Bowen picked the ball up 30 yards out, surged forward and pinged a low drive into the corner.

But four minutes later Viborg halved the lead through a far-post header from Jakob Bonde.

Areola was forced into a flying save from Nils Mortimer to prevent the Danes from drawing level before Antonio scored the third with a tap-in from fellow sub Said Benrahma’s pull-back.

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