|match review copied from www.theguardian.com|
West Ham beat Lusitans in Europa League despite Diafra Sakho red card
Published Thursday 9 July 2015 21.49 BST
West Ham recovered from an early red card for Diafra Sakho to ease past Lusitans and advance to the second round of Europa League qualifiers.
Having scored twice in the first leg, Sakho had a night to forget in Andorra after being sent off in the 14th minute. The striker will now miss the second-round qualifying tie with the Maltese side Birkirkara.
Elliot Lee’s first goal for the Hammers was enough to secure the 1-0 win on the evening to wrap up a comprehensive 4-0 aggregate success.
Slaven Bilic had been criticised by the Lusitans coach, Xavi Roura, for disrespecting his side by not being involved in the opening leg – the Croat having placed the club’s academy director, Terry Westley, in charge of the team – but the new West Ham manager was on the touchline to see his side progress with ease.
With the majority of his first-team squad returning to London following a pre-season training camp in Dublin, it was another side balanced with both youth and experience. James Tomkins again captained the side with Joey O’Brien making his 100th appearance for the club, and Matt Jarvis and Morgan Amalfitano also started.
The night got off to a bad start, however, with last season’s top goalscorer dismissed after an incident off the ball that saw the Lusitans players surround the Danish referee Anders Poulsen, who agreed with their calls for Sakho to be sent off.
Despite the early setback, the visitors were in front seven minutes later as Sakho’s fellow forward Lee coolly converted Matt Jarvis’ flick to score the only goal of the night – although the 20-year-old threatened a second moments later, but was knocked off the ball as he ran through on goal.
The Lusitans winger José Aguilar, who pestered West Ham’s players for much of the game after a similarly niggly first leg, went close with a 35-yard free-kick in the second half before defender Moisés San Nicolás headed home – only to see his effort chalked out for offside.
There were late chances for both sides as Lee came close to adding a second late on but his curling effort bent the wrong side of Lusitans goalkeeper Gerardo Rubio’s post, before Tomkins was on hand to clear Alfi Conteh-Lacalle’s injury-time free-kick off the line.