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SPORTS UPDATE

Scamacca nets winner in Europa Conference League

Gianluca Scamacca came off the bench to score the only goal as West Ham moved a step nearer to qualifying for the Europa Conference League knockouts with a deserved 1-0 win at Anderlecht.

The much-changed visitors manager David Moyes made nine changes from Saturday’s 2-0 home win over Wolves – dominated the group B clash at the Constant Vanden Stock Stadium, only for some poor finishing to leave the game scoreless approaching the final 10 minutes.

However, Moyes was rewarded for an attacking triple substitution with 20 minutes left to play, with two of those subs combining for the winner as Lucas Paqueta set up Scamacca to net his fifth goal for his new side.

As a result, West Ham made it three wins out of three in the group and are now within touching distance of playing in Europe after Christmas.

Despite making a whopping nine changes from the weekend win over Wolves, West Ham still bossed the early exchanges in Brussels and should have gone in ahead at the break.

However, Said Benrahma had clearly left his shooting boots at home, with the Algeria playmaker spurned a number of gilt-edged chances, none more so than when he blazed over a gaping goal having been picked out by Jarrod Bowen’s cut back five minutes before half-time.

READ ALSOEPL: Scamacca wonder goal no surprise, says West Ham captain Rice

The second period was closely fought, but the game turned on a triple substitution made by Moyes with 20 minutes remaining as the West Ham boss introduced the likes of captain Declan Rice, as well as recent new signings Paqueta and Scamacca in attack.

And it took that duo less than 10 minutes to team up for the winning goal as the Brazil international’s clever flick released Scamacca on goal and from a tight angle, the Italian found the bottom left-hand corner of the net with pinpoint accuracy.

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