West Ham dramatically beat Fiorentina to collect the Europa Conference League title on Wednesday. The Hammers won the match thanks to a late goal by winger Jarrod Bowen. It was the club’s first significant trophy in 43 years.

Both clubs were trying to end on a high note after disappointing domestic campaigns. The Hammers finished 14th in the Premier League, just six points away from the relegation zone. Fiorentina, on the other hand, ended up eighth in the Italian top flight, six points out of a European place. Wednesday’s game was the last chance for either side to qualify for a continental competition next season.

The match began with the two teams a bit cautious in possession. Fiorentina held on to the ball a majority of the opening 20 minutes, but could not create many serious threats. Despite seeing little of the ball in this timeframe, West Ham did have the best early scoring opportunity. Midfielder Declan Rice sent his flash shot from the edge of the box just wide of the post in the 13th minute.

English fan hits Fiorentina captain with projectile

Things took an ugly turn in the 33rd minute when select Hammers fans threw projectiles onto the pitch as Fiorentina was about to take a corner kick. Fiorentina captain Cristiano Biraghi was struck in the back of the head in the incident. It seemed as if a heavier implement was stuffed inside a plastic cup and hurled toward the Italian defender. The match was then halted for about three minutes after the object opened a gash on Biraghi’s head.

Fiorentina thought they took a lead into halftime after the ball narrowly crossed West Ham’s goal line seconds from the break. Nico Gonzalez sent a beautiful cross into the box which found Christian Kouamé. Alphonse Areola initially saved the Ivorian’s header. Then, striker Luka Jovic followed up the rebound with another header that somehow went through the goalkeeper and across the line. However, Jovic was offside on the move.

Teams trade goals within five-minute span

The match desperately needed a goal. Then, the referee awarded a penalty to the Hammers in the 60th minute. Jarrod Bowen chested down the ball inside the box, but Biraghi essentially punched it away from the winger. Although the match referee did not initially give the handball at first, VAR intervened to help make the correct call.

After the foul, Said Benrahma stepped up to take the spot kick. The midfielder sent the opposing keeper the wrong way and placed the ball perfectly into the top corner of the net. The midfielder has now never failed to convert a penalty for West Ham.

However, Giacomo Bonaventura leveled the scoreline for Fiorentina just five minutes later. The Italian neatly brought down the ball with his left foot inside the West Ham box, then struck a careful shot with his right. The ball somehow arrowed through the opposing defense and bounced into the back of the net. It was the Italian’s seventh total goal of the current campaign.

West Ham wins Europa Conference League in 90th minute

Bowen gave the Hammers the lead once again in the 90th minute of the match. Lucas Paqueta played a gorgeous through ball from the middle of the pitch into his teammate’s path as he raced toward the goal. With only the keeper to beat, Bowen put his shot passed Pietro Terracciano for the match-winning goal. Fiorentina had five minutes of added time to try to level the game once again, but couldn’t find their goal.

West Ham will now qualify for next season’s Europa League tournament. Despite finishing in the bottom of the half of the Premier League table, their campaign ended with a significant trophy.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Focus Images