West Ham 1-2 Eintracht Frankfurt: Daichi Kamada leaves Hammers needing comeback to reach final

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 (Getty Images)
(Getty Images)

West Ham will have to come from behind in Germany if they are to reach the Europa League final after being beaten 2-1 by Eintracht Frankfurt in their semi-final first leg on Thursday.

Daichi Kamada’s goal gave the Bundesliga outfit - conquerors of Barcelona in the previous round - a slender advantage ahead of next week’s return, after Michail Antonio had cancelled out Ansgar Knauff’s first-minute opener.

David Moyes sprung a huge surprise in naming Kurt Zouma in his starting XI, the Frenchman returning well ahead of schedule from the ankle injury that at one point the club feared would end his season.

If that was a boost for the home side ahead of-kick off, however, it was the visitors who were celebrating almost as soon as the game began as Knauff snuck in behind Pablo Fornals to head past Alphonse Areola and silence the London Stadium.

The Hammers could be forgiven for looking a little shellshocked but gradually began to assert themselves and went within inches of a leveller when Jarrod Bowen was slipped in by Tomas Soucek but saw his finish come back off the post after the faintest of touches from Kevin Trapp.

They did not have to wait long, however, as their set-piece threat told once more, Zouma heading down for Antonio to hook home despite the best efforts of Trapp.

The German outfit retook the lead early in the second half at the end of a flowing move, which saw Areola brilliantly deny Djibril Sow, only for Kamada to tap in the rebound.

Substitute Said Benrahma went close with a stunning effort soon after coming on but thing could have gotten worse for West Ham had Craig Dawson’s deflection not carried Kamada’s strike onto the far post.

Deep into added time Bowen went within inches of an outrageous equaliser, thundering a magnificent bicycle kick against the crossbar from Declan Rice’s cross.

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