Moyes and Bowen in dreamland as West Ham end 43-year wait for major trophy after dramatic night in Prague

West Ham Europa League Conference final

David Moyes hailed the ‘best moment of his career’ as West Ham ended their long wait for a trophy by beating Fiorentina 2-1 in the Europa Conference League final in Prague.

The Hammers ended their 43-year wait for a major trophy as Jarrod Bowen scored a last-minute goal to beat Fiorentina and claim glory on a special night for the London club.

The final seemed to be heading for extra time after Said Benrahma’s second-half penalty was cancelled out just seven minutes later by a well-taken effort from Giacomo Bonaventura.

An often bad-tempered game at one point got very ugly as Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was struck by a plastic bottle thrown from the West Ham section.

However, the match was settled in the most dramatic manner.

Bowen timed his run to perfection as Lucas Paqueta slid a superb pass through the Fiorentina defence.

The England man ran free, steadied himself, then beat Pietro Terracciano with a calm finish to thrill the Hammers fans and leave David Moyes running down the touchline to celebrate the first major silverware of his career.

And speaking after the game, Moyes told BT Sport: “This is fantastic. I have had a long career in football and you don’t get many moments like this.

“These sorts of moments as managers don’t come around often. This is a great moment for us.

“It is a brilliant club in the East End of London that does wonderful work in the community. It is a great family club. It is getting better and stronger. This is another step on the road of continued progress.

“We have gone unbeaten in Europe, which is incredible. We only lost last year in a semi-final, two incredible years and we get another one now.”

Asked if it what was the best moment of his career, Moyes added: “I would have to say so. The moments you get to celebrate with your family and win in the last minute of the game, it doesn’t happen often. It can go against you but tonight is a brilliant feeling.

“If somebody had said three years ago when I took the job that you’d avoid relegation and finish in Europe and I’ve said you were mad.

“This competition has been great for us, the players have been remarkable.”

Bowen living the dream

Meanwhile, matchwinner Bowen added: “I obviously dreamed of scoring but to score the winner in the last minute. It’s what you always say you want to do. To do it in front of these fans. I thought I was going to cry. I’m just happy.

“We had a dream, we haven’t had the best season, myself included, but to give these fans this moment, I’m over the moon.

“I think in my position you make that run 10 times you might get that ball once. As soon as you get it you’ve got to put it away.

“Never [have I felt like this in my life]. This is the biggest game of my career. The emotion, there was time for one more chance. I’m just so happy. I’m over the moon.

“I’m thinking of the party tonight. Listen to it. Listen.”

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