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Published: 20:15 | 4/8/16

West Ham ease past NK Domzale

Premier League side through to Europa League play-off

Cheikhou Kouyate netted twice, as West Ham beat NK Domzale 3-0 in the Europa League third qualifying round second leg at the London Stadium to go through 4-2 on aggregate.

In front of a near-capacity 54,000 crowd at their new home, Kouyate netted two first-half goals and Sofiane Feghouli added a late third as Slaven Bilic's side eased past the Slovenian minnows to book their place in the Europa League play-off round.

The Hammers, who will learn their Europa League opponents on Friday morning, play the play-off first leg on Thursday 18 August, just three days after their Premier League opener against Chelsea at Stamford Bridge.

Trailing 2-1 from the first leg against a club with an annual turnover dwarfed by Dimitri Payet's monthly wage, the Hammers needed to score early to calm the nerves at the former Olympic Stadium in Stratford, their new home after 112 years at Upton Park.

And that they did, after just eight minutes, with Kouyate diverting Sam Byram's scuffed shot from Enner Valencia's cutback past Axel Maraval in the Domzale goal.

And the Senegal international, who had netted just twice in his previous 34 appearances before tonight, doubled his tally on 25 minutes with a stabbed finish from Andy Carroll's knockdown at the far post from Michail Antonio's cross.

Domzale, though comfortable on the ball, looked ponderous when in sight of Darren Randolph's goal, and almost got caught by the pace of Antonio down the right when they over-elaborated deep in the West Ham half.

It highlighted the difference in ability between the two sides, with the Premier League team moving the ball 60 yards in a flash via the livewire Antonio, only for Domzale defender Kenan Horic to get a crucial block in at the near post with Kouyate again hovering.

Both players and supporters were still getting their bearings in their new stadium, and the second half felt more like a testimonial match than a pathway to Europe, with West Ham content to sit back and wait for the Domzale mistake.

But talent and technique finally told, as Algeria international Feghouli, a free transfer summer signing from Valencia, drilled home a fine finish from the right-hand side of the area following a Carroll pass beyond full-back Jure Balkovec.

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