Published: 10:14, September 22, 2023 | Updated: 10:14, September 22, 2023
West Ham beat Serbia's Backa Topola 3-1 with own goal
By Reuters

West Ham United's Tomas Soucek (second right) scores their side's third goal of the game during the UEFA Europa League Group A match at the London Stadium, London, on Sept 21, 2023. (PHOTO / AP)

LONDON - An own goal by Backa Topola's Nemanja Petrovic helped West Ham United recover from a goal down to clinch a 3-1 home win over the Serbian side in a Europa League Group A match on Thursday.

Despite dominating ball possession and 15 attempts in the first half, West Ham were unable to break the deadlock before halftime against competition debutants who are playing European football for just the second time.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when midfielder Petar Stanic gave Backa a shock lead after the break as he capitalized on an error by West Ham defence and made it 1-0 after a solo run.

But Backa defender Petrovic failed to protect their advantage when he scored an own goal in the 66th minute before West Ham midfielder Mohammed Kudus scored for the London side with a header and substitute Tomas Soucek sealed the win.

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West Ham United's Ghanaian midfielder #14 Mohammed Kudus (left) challenges Backa Topola's Serbian defender #44 Vukasin Krstic during the UEFA Europa League group A football match between West Ham United and Backa Topola at The London Stadium in east London on Sept 21, 2023. (PHOTO / AFP)

Ajax Amsterdam squandered a 2-0 lead at home against Olympique de Marseille to draw 3-3 as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice for the visitors.

In the other Group B game, Brighton & Hove Albion converted two penalties against Greek champions AEK Athens but lost 3-2 at home.

Rangers beat Real Betis 1-0 with a second-half goal by Senegal forward Abdallah Sima, while Sporting came from a goal down at Austria's Sturm Graz to claim a late 2-1 victory.

Ajax Amsterdam squandered a 2-0 lead at home against Olympique de Marseille to draw 3-3 as Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang struck twice for the visitors.

In the other Group B game, Brighton & Hove Albion converted two penalties against Greek champions AEK Athens but lost 3-2 at home.

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Rangers beat Real Betis 1-0 with a second-half goal by Senegal forward Abdallah Sima, while Sporting came from a goal down at Austria's Sturm Graz to claim a late 2-1 victory.