West Ham 3 Domzale 0 (4-2 agg): Kouyate double seals Europa League play-off spo
Two goals from Cheikhou Kouyate secured a 3-0 win for West Ham over Domzale to book their place in the Europa League play-off round.
After a shock 2-1 defeat in the first leg, Slaven Bilic’s side made certain of a more clinical job in their first competitive match at London Stadium in front of a crowd of 54,000, scoring twice without reply in the first half to set them on their way to a 4-2 aggregate victory.
Sofiane Feghouli and Enner Valencia both spurned good chances after the break to safeguard the victory, and Matic Crnic - who scored both goals in the first leg - twice came close to snatching the away goal Domzale needed to force extra time.
But Feghouli drilled home following Mark Noble’s long ball with just nine minutes to play to end any hopes of a late comeback from Domzale, and send West Ham into the play-off phase, which begins in two weeks’ time.
Kouyate gave West Ham their first goal at their new home with just eight minutes on the clock. Sam Byram combined with Valencia and scuffed a shot goalwards, allowing Kouyate the chance to hook the ball past Axel Maraval and into the net.
Andy Carroll had the visitors worried with an acrobatic attempt, but the England striker played a crucial role in helping West Ham to double their advantage on 25 minutes.
Rising highest to reach Michail Antonio’s cross, Carroll headed down and back across the box, where Kouyate was on hand to slide the ball home.
Domzale pushed for a response after the break, with Crnic testing Darren Randolph from 30 yards with a deflected drive, but West Ham began to assume control of possession and looked the more likely to find the game’s third goal.
Feghouli glanced a header just wide of the far post before Valencia fluffed his lines when clean through on goal, after Randolph had made a good low save to deny Crnic following a clever one-two.
The stadium grew in nervousness as Domzale pressed for a crucial away goal, but Feghouli settled matters, chesting down Noble’s lofted pass before firing low past Maraval.