Europa League roundup: West Ham draw, leave qualification up in the air

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A roundup of Thursday’s UEFA Europa League qualification play-off round action…

[ MORE: All of PST’s Europa League coverage ]

Astra Giurgiu 1-1 West Ham United

Slaven Bilic‘s side has plenty of work still to do if they’re to reach the group stage of European competition for the first in the modern era. Up 1-0, thanks to a Mark Noble penalty kick in the 45th minute, with less than 10 minutes to play in Thursday’s Europa League play-off first leg, the Hammers conceded a back-breaking equalizer to the same side that knocked them out of the competition one round earlier last season.

Bilic opted for a starting lineup which was heavy on youth, while including his captain, Noble, and fellow first-team regulars Enner Valencia, Michail Antonio and Angelo Ogboona, as well as newcomers Gokhan Tore Jonathan Calleri.

The disappointing draw comes 24 hours after West Ham learned the severity of Andre Ayew’s thigh injury. The club-record signing will miss four months following surgery. It’s a devastating blow after initially revealing he would be out of action “for weeks.”

Other notable Europa League scores

Istanbul Basaksehir 1-2 Shakhtar Donetsk
Vojvodina 0-3 AZ Alkmaar
Fenerbahce 3-0 Grasshopper
Slavia Prague 0-3 Anderlecht

Full scoreboard — Thursday’s Europa League qualification action ]