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Izquierdo scores winner on return to action

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Colombian midfielder nets decisive goal for under-23s in 3-2 win against West Ham.

By Luke Nicoli • 03 October 2020

By Arthur Griffiths / West Ham United FC
Antef Tsoungui closes down his opponent during Albion's 3-2 win at West Ham

Jose Izquierdo made a dream return to action by scoring the winner in a thrilling 3-2 victory at the Rush Green Stadium. 

The Albion winger, making his first appearance after a 17-month absence following a knee injury, netted with a superb lob with just three minutes remaining. 

Reda Khadra, signed from Borussia Dortmund during the week, also caught the eye by scoring early into his Seagulls debut.

The win extends Albion’s unbeaten start to the new Premier League 2 Division 1 season to four games, following last week’s win against Chelsea and draws with Tottenham and Arsenal. 

What happened 

The game was just four minutes old when Khadra showed a real turn of pace on the left flank and, having cut in from the byline, unleashed a fierce shot that crashed in off the crossbar. 

The Hammers reacted well to their early setback by probing forward on a number of occasions, but the Albion stood firm in defence while looking dangerous in transition. 

Indeed, it was the visitors who created the game’s next chance on 24 minutes when Romaric Yapi cut in from the right but his left-foot effort sailed over the Hammers’ bar. 

By Arthur Griffiths / West Ham United
Lars Dendoncker harries his opponent.

West Ham continued to probe and got back on level terms on 26 minutes when Harrison Ashby drove a low ball across the face of goal from the right and Mesaque Dju was on hand to tap home. 

The Hammers then doubled their advantage on 38 minutes when Sam Packham under-hit a back pass to Robert Sanchez. Daniel Chesters nipped in to take the ball and was brought down by the onrushing Albion keeper in the process.

Referee Robert Massey-Ellis had no hesitation pointing to the spot and Conor Coventry netted by sending Sanchez the wrong way. 

Albion were back on level terms three minutes before the break when a Max Sanders corner took a deflection off Hammers centre-back Jamal Baptiste before trickling past keeper Joseph Anang and over the line. 

The first notable action of the second half was the appearance of Izquierdo, as a replacement for Khadra – who received praise from his team-mates as he left the field. 

By Arthur Griffiths / West Ham United
Max Sanders and Jose Izquierdo put the pressure on against West Ham

Chances were at a premium for the Seagulls after the break but West Ham looked a threat going forward.

Sanchez pulled off a superb save to keep out an Alfie Lewis effort low to his right – while Sean Adarkwa also missed a good opportunity from close range for the hosts. 

The game looked like ending in a draw until Izquierdo stole the show. His goal was greeted with wild celebrations from his team-mates and that famous smile was back! 

Jose back in business 

Aside from the goal, the Colombian showed glimpses of the pace that have made him a favourite among Seagulls fans and was always looking to receive the ball, either on the left flank or in a more central position.

The goal itself was one that deserved a higher stage; he picked up the ball some 20 yards out and showed great composure to lob the ball up and over the advancing Anang before it nestled in the back of the net. 

By Arthur Griffiths / West Ham United FC
Antef Tsoungui gets to grips with his West Ham opponent.

Khadra impresses 

The former Germany under-18 international made an immediate impact with his goal and caught the eye with his pace, quick feet and eye for a pass.

When in possession he was keen to run at players and drive into the box. A promising introduction to English football by the 19-year-old. 

Rearguard stands firm

The Hammers enjoyed more of the play and the better chances in the second half but Albion’s defence stood firm.

Lars Dendoncker and Antef Tsoungi did well at the centre of defence and received good protection, too, from Max Sanders and Jensen Weir in midfield. Robert Sanchez was also an imposing presence in goal, putting in a solid display. 

The line-up

Sanchez (GK), Packham (Turns 45), Dendoncker, Tsoungi, Furlong, Yapi, Weir, Sanders, Jenks (Wilson 71), Eneme-Ella, Khadra (Izquierdo 59).

Subs not used: Rushworth,  Spong. 

Up next

Albion entertain Liverpool in a Premier League 2 fixture on Saturday 17th October. 

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