After today’s round of semi-finals, we already know the two finalists who will compete in the 2022/23 Conference League. West Ham and Fiorentina have qualified after beating AZ Alkmaar and Basel respectively and are now dreaming of winning the trophy. Their road to the finals hasn’t been easy, all they’ve had to do to reach the final round is:
How did West Ham reach the Conference Final?
From the first minute the English proved to be one of the favorites to win the competition. In a group with Anderlecht, Silkeborg and FCSB as rivals, they remained unbeaten, winning 6 out of 6. AEK Larnaca was their opponent in the round of 16, and they were never a threat to the ‘Hammers’. 0–2 in the first leg and 4–0 in the second leg, making it 6–0 on aggregate to progress to the next round. In the quarter-finals, Gent created a bit more doubt at West Ham. A 1–1 draw in the first leg decided everything in London, and there they did not fail. 4–1 to close out the tie and move on to the semi-finals.
Now in the semi-finals, AZ Alkmaar took the tie to the end but West Ham finally managed to eliminate the Dutch team. A 2–1 draw in England looked to be enough to tie up their maiden trip to a Conference League final, and a goal in the 95th minute from Pablo Fornals in the second leg ended AZ’s options.
How did Fiorentina reach the conference finals?
After qualifying for the Conference League the previous season, the Italian side met a group made up of Istanbul Basaksehir, Heart of Midlothian and RFS. They qualified for the second leg of the knockout stage, tied on points with Basaksehir, but with a worse goal difference. In the first round, Sivasspor was not a very difficult opponent for the Italians, who won 5–1 on aggregate. In the quarter-finals, Lech Poznan lost the first leg and lost 1–4, but equalized in the second leg. , however Fiore got rid of the problem leaving the score 2–3.
In the semi-finals, the tie was complicated for three of the Italians, losing the first leg 1–2, but Basel didn’t seem to know how to manage that lead and another 1–2 draw sent the tie to extra time. Barak’s last gasp goal sends Fiorentina to Prague.
When will the 2023 conference league final be held?
The final of the Conference League this year will be played on June 7 at the Eden Arena in Prague. The headquarters thus moves from Tirana, where Roma won with Jose Mourinho in the Czech Republic.