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Daichi Kamada Silences the London Stadium in Eintracht Win

Japan international Daichi Kamada was the standout player in Eintracht Frankfurt’s Europa League semifinal first-leg win over West Ham United on Thursday night. Undeterred by the thousands of West Ham fans flocking the London Stadium, Kamada’s 54th minute goal proved to be the winner for Eintracht as they edged out the hosts 2-1.

Hyped by the hosts’ stadium announcer as being “the biggest football game in the London Stadium’s 10-year history,” the home crowd was immediately left speechless in the 49th second of the match after Ansgar Knauff headed home past Alphonse Areola in the West Ham goal to give the away side the early lead.

Michail Antonio then equalized for the Hammers in the 20th minute, before Kamada showed up when his team needed him the most. In the 54th minute, after a Djibril Sow shot was deflected away, Kamada positioned himself in the right place on the right time as he tapped home the rebound past Areola, restoring Eintracht’s lead and handing the Germans a slender advantage coming into next week’s second leg.

The win was Eintracht’s second win in three of their most recent trips to London, having won 2-1 away at Arsenal in the 2019/20 Europa League group stages as well as being eliminated on penalties in the 2018/19 Europa League semifinal after a 1-1 draw at Chelsea’s Stamford Bridge.

Former Sagan Tosu man Kamada was one of Eintracht’s standout players in their Europa League campaign this season. The Japanese midfielder has scored five times, including that winner at the London Stadium, as well as assisting once in Eintracht’s stunning 3-2 win away at Barcelona’s Camp Nou – a result that knocked the Catalan giants out of the Europa League in the quarterfinals.