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Astra's Hammer blow was down to lack of desire: West Ham boss Bilic

Europa League: West Ham 0-1 Astra (Astra win 2-1 on aggregate)

Published 26/08/2016

Filipe Teixeira scored the only goal in the second leg of the play-off at the London Stadium
Filipe Teixeira scored the only goal in the second leg of the play-off at the London Stadium

Premier League side West Ham failed to claim a place in the group stage of the Europa League as they were beaten by Romanian champions Astra Giurgiu.

Filipe Teixeira scored the only goal in the second leg of the play-off at the London Stadium, netting on the stroke of half-time to hand Astra a 1-0 victory for a 2-1 aggregate success.

"The disappointment is massive," said Hammers manager Slaven Bilic.

"We didn't play good in the first half or with desire as a team. We were second best."

A desperately disappointing evening had begun on a high note with West Ham announcing the signing of young Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes from FC Sion, but once again it was evident a striker is what they desperately need.

Manchester City's Wilfried Bony and Simone Zaza of Juventus remain targets but, in the meantime, rookie Argentine forward Jonathan Calleri was handed the responsibility in attack.

On the stroke of half-time Sam Byram's crossfield ball gave Reece Burke too much to do and left both Hammers full-backs hopelessly out of position.

Astra defender Cristian Sapunaru beat Burke to the ball and it broke to Daniel Niculae, who played a simple square pass to Teixeira who slipped the ball past keeper Darren Randolph.

Belfast Telegraph

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