West Ham survive scare as Villarreal beat Beer Sheva in Conference League
West Ham survived an early scare to win 3-2 at Danes Silkeborg and Villarreal edged Hapoel Beer Sheva in the group stage of the Europa Conference League on Thursday.
Silkeborg, making their first group stage appearance in Europe since the 1997 Intertoto Cup, broke the deadlock after less than five minutes thanks to Kasper Kusk’s effort.
The Hammers responded just before the quarter of an hour mark as Manuel Lanzini converted a spot-kick.
The visitors took the lead on 25 minutes as Gianluca Scamacca claimed his third goal for the club before veteran centre-back Craig Dawson added a third for the English side before the break.
Soren Tengstedt cut David Moyes’ side’s lead with 15 minutes left but they held on for a second straight win in the competition.
Last season’s Champions League semi-finalists Villarreal continued their perfect start in the third-tier tournament as 35-year-old striker Jose Luis Morales scored his fourth goal of the campaign in a 2-1 win in Israel.
The home side drew level after the hour with Rotem Hatuel’s effort before 21-year-old Alex Baena grabbed the winner for the Spaniards.
After last week’s fan trouble on the Mediterranean coast between Nice and Cologne, the French side drew 1-1 with Serbians Partizan Belgrade as English left-back Joe Bryan opened his account for the Ligue 1 club.
Cologne overcame Slovacko 4-2 thanks to Austria midfielder Dejan Ljubicic’s double.
Earlier, Dutch outfit AZ Alkmaar remained unbeaten atop Group E after hammering Vaduz from Liechtenstein 4-1 as Japan right-back Yukinari Sugawara and midfielder Dani de Wit scored in injury time.
Ivory Coast winger Max Gradel netted his third goal of the season in all competitions as Turks Sivasspor edged Romanians Cluj 1-0.