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Published: 21:04 | 18/8/16

West Ham held in Romania


West Ham were forced to settle for a draw as a late goal for Astrana Giurgiu earned the hosts a 1-1 draw in their Europa League qualifying play-off first leg.

Slaven Bilic's side took the lead just before the break when Mark Noble coolly slotted home a spot-kick after Cristian Sapunaru handed in the area.

It was fully deserved as the Hammers were the better side up until that point and for much of the second half too.

Michal Antonio missed a great chance for the visitors to double the lead and they were left to rue the wasted opportunity as just 90 seconds later the home side drew level, Denis Alibec holding off the defender's challenge before firing home past Darren Randolph.

Substitute Marcus Browne - making his debut - surged forward and instead of shooting, the teenager chose to play Antonio in but the former Nottingham Forest man blasted wide at the far post.

The second leg is at West Ham's new home, the London Stadium next Thursday and the Romanians will be confident of producing another upset after they eliminated the east London side at the same stage last season.

The game very much remains in the balance but although they will feel that a precious victory away from home should have been theirs, they will be marginal favourites as a result of that away goal.

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