Andriy Yarmolenko Scoring Europa League Winner For West Ham Was Written In The Stars
Andriy Yarmolenko scored an emotional extra time winner to send West Ham into the quarter finals of the Europa League last night.
The Hammers beat six-time winners Sevilla 2-1 on aggregate, with Yarmolenko popping up in the 112nd minute after Tomas Soucek had levelled the tie in the first half of the second leg.
Pablo Fornals' shot from the left was saved by opposition goalkeeper Bono but he could only parry into the path of Yarmolenko, who put in the rebound.
The London Stadium erupted into pandemonium, with the commentator uttering the line, "Can you believe it? It's a Ukrainian who may have sent West Ham to the quarter finals".
Yarmolenko was mobbed by teammates and clearly taking it all in given recent events.
“It’s Hollywood, it’s beyond Hollywood, it’s beautiful,” was the line from Hammer Joe Cole.
And after his heroics, the former Borussia Dortmund man had a special moment when he gave his shirt to a West Ham fan displaying a Ukraine flag in the stands.
After scoring the winner to knock six-time winners Sevilla out of the Europa League, Andriy Yarmolenko gave his shirt to a fan holding the Ukraine flag 💙💛 pic.twitter.com/LGQgItSJvp— GOAL (@goal) March 17, 2022
With all the conflict going on in his homeland following Russia's invasion of Ukraine, Yarmolenko was granted compassionate leave by his club.
He returned and scored in the 2-1 win over Aston Villa last weekend and made it two in two last night.
Vice-captain Declan Rice heaped praise on his teammate for performing while Ukraine is stricken with war and says he was full of emotion in the dressing room.
“I’ve just seen him in the kit room and he was a little bit emotional,” Rice told BT Sport in a wonderful post-match interview.
"He was away from the lads to take it in.
“From what he’s been through recently, to perform how he’s done against Villa and tonight is a credit to him. His desire, the way he’s run after players, two crucial goals.
“He’s been through so much. Us as players, we are there for him and he deserves this.
“He’s stepped up and is a big player for us. I’m delighted for him.”
Featured Image Credit: Image: BT Sport & PA
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