HomeFeatured ArticlesTSC Backa Topola vs West Ham - Late Winner for Hammers

TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham – Late Winner for Hammers

TSC Backa Topola vs West Ham

West Ham United needed a last-gasp goal to beat Serbia’s Backa Topola on Nov. 30, 2023, and stay on top of Europa League Group A. The 1-0 win at the TSC Arena, courtesy of Tomas Soucek’s effort, sends the Premier League team to the knock-out round. The Hammers are level on points with Freiberg, and will finish top if they avoid defeat against the Germans next month.

Soucek’s Strike Decides the Match

With just one point from its first four games, Backa Topola could not qualify from the group. Meanwhile, West Ham knew that a point would ensure a place in the knock-out round. However, the visitors never hit their best form in a game that lacked intensity. Despite dominating possession (58%), the Hammers struggled to break down their hard-working Serbian opponents.

Performance Highlights

The underdogs, TSC Backa Topola, maintained a good defensive line. That was reinforced by some good saves from goalie Veljko Ilic. The home team also matched West Ham’s attacking threat, but an xG value of 0.66 vs 0.65 showed that neither team created very much. A lacklustre West Ham scraped the victory when Czech international Tomas Soucek converted a Maxwell Cornet cross in the 89th minute.

Squad Performance

West Ham head coach David Moyes made seven changes to his starting line-up from the team that beat Burnley in the Premier League at the weekend. That’s understandable: West Ham face a daunting run of 10 games before the end of 2023, and Moyes needs to rest his players to ensure maximum fitness. Tonight’s side, which featured 19-year-old striker Divin Mubama in only his second appearance, did enough to win the game. However, the performance did not answer all the questions about the strength of the Hammers’ squad.

Backa Topola, meanwhile, suffered a fourth defeat in five European games this season. The Serbian team, whose stadium holds just 4,500 fans, have not been in great form this season. However, Zarko Lazetic’s team was looking to build on an impressive 4-0 league win over Partizan Belgrade at the weekend.

Match Official and Prediction

The match’s proceedings were regulated by referee Allard Lindhout from the Netherlands, who showed four yellow cards in a game that did not produce any big controversy. Before the game, West Ham were expected to win, and they just about delivered on that in a hard-fought encounter.

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