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EUROPA LEAGUE: West Ham held by Romanian side Astra

West Ham United have been held by Astra Giurgiu in the first leg of Europa League third round qualifying.

The Hammers were reduced to ten men in the second half before conceding two goals in the final 20 minutes to be forced into a 2-2 draw by the Romanian side at Upton Park.

Enner Valencia had given West Ham the lead in the 23rd minute with a header from a Dimitri Payet cross before he was stretchered off injured in the second half.

In the 51st minute, the Hammers were two to the good when Mauro Zarate completed a dangerous run by slotting home before defender James Collins became the recipient of a red card - the third in three games for the east Londoners.

On 71 minutes, Astra hit back through Fernando Boldrin who rocketed home from around 25 yards before Angelo Ogbonna diverted a cross into his own net to give the visitors a share of the spoils.

Slaven Bilic's West Ham will now travel to Giurgiu for the return bout next week with Astra having scored two crucial away goals.

2015/16 Europa League qualifying third round - first leg

West Ham United (ENG): 2 (Enner Valencia 23', Mauro Zarate 51', red card: James Collins 59')

Astra Giurgiu (ROM): 2 (Fernando Boldrin 71', Angelo Ogbonna (og) 82')

Upton Park, London

Andrew Slevison
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Andrew Slevison

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