Sakho at the double for Hammers

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Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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Diafra Sakho struck a brace in front of a watching Slaven Bilic as West Ham eased to a routine victory over Europa League first qualifying round opponents FC Lusitans.

Plenty has changed at Upton Park in the last 12 months but the constant that remains going forward is the goal-threat of striker Sakho – who shone in this 3-0 win played just 39 days since the end of both the previous Premier League season and Sam Allardyce’s reign in east London.

The 25-year-old joined the club last year and, despite ending the season on the treatment table, he finished the campaign with 10 league goals – by far the best offering from anyone in claret and blue.

It was that late thigh injury that meant Sakho lined up for the Hammers in this contest, as a number of fresher players selected by academy manager Terry Westley, who was in charge as new boss Bilic opted to watch from the stands after receiving a heroes’ welcome before kick-off.

And the Croatian saw Sakho score twice in the five minutes before half-time, with skipper for the evening James Tomkins heading a third against the Primera Divisio minnows.

Sakho was not the only first-team regular involved as Tomkins captained a side which also contained Joey O’Brien, Morgan Amalfitano, Matt Jarvis and Mauro Zarate – back in the fold after ending last season on loan at QPR – but did not boast big-name summer signings Pedro Obiang or Dimitri Payet.

New recruit Darren Randolph started in goal however, Reece Oxford was arguably the main attraction for the sold-out Upton Park crowd, the 16-year-old becoming the youngest first-team player in the club’s history.

Published: Thursday 2nd July 2015 by The News Editor

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