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Monday, July 16, 2018

West Ham United start life at Olympic Stadium with emphatic win

West Ham left the Boleyn Ground, at the end of last season after agreeing a 99-year lease with the London Legacy Development Corporation.

By: Reuters | London | Published: August 5, 2016 1:23:11 pm
West Ham United, West Ham United, West Ham vs NK Domzale, NK Domzale, Europa League, Football, Sports news, sports West Ham’s new signing Sofiane Feghouli scored a late third goal. (Source: Reuters)

West Ham United marked their first match at the Olympic Stadium with a 3-0 win over Slovenian side NK Domzale on Thursday, Cheikhou Kouyate scoring twice to help secure a place in the Europa League playoff round.

West Ham left the Boleyn Ground, their home for 112 years, at the end of last season after agreeing a 99-year lease with the London Legacy Development Corporation to rent the 60,000-seater venue built for the 2012 Olympic Games.

Kouyate took eight minutes to bag the first goal at the club’s new stadium when he cleverly flicked home Sam Byram’s cross in the return game against Domzale who had won the first leg 2-1.

The Senegal midfielder then made it 2-0 in the 25th minute as he poked the ball into the net following good work by striker Andy Carroll to the delight of the 54,000 sell-out crowd in the reduced capacity venue.

Algeria winger Sofiane Feghouli, who joined West Ham on a free transfer from Valencia in the close season, clinched a 4-2 aggregate win when he drove home a low shot with nine minutes to go.

“Thank you for being part of history tonight, all 54,000 of you,” the club said on their Twitter account.

West Ham manager Slaven Bilic described it as “a special kind of game”.

“It was brilliant to go out in front of a packed, loud stadium,” said Bilic. “We played some good stuff and the crowd could enjoy some of our beautiful moves.

“I liked the way we defended and attacked. It was totally different to the game in Slovenia, the early goal helped.”

West Ham host Serie A champions Juventus in a friendly on Sunday before launching their Premier League season at London rivals Chelsea on Aug. 15.

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