Mohammed Kudus scored his first West Ham goal as the Europa Conference League holders came from behind to beat Serbian side Backa Topola in the opening game of their Europa League group campaign.
The Hammers enjoyed one of the finest nights in their history back in June when they beat Fiorentina in Prague to win the Conference League for a first European trophy since 1965.
But they were given an early taste of the challenge facing them following their elevation to the continent’s second-tier competition.
The visitors, also known as TSC, were disciplined, determined and handed the chance of a famous win by an awful error from Angelo Ogbonna that allowed Petar Stanic to rob him of possession before running on to finish past Lukasz Fabianski.
But West Ham know the score now on these European nights and, despite a wobble after conceding they dusted themselves down, made changes and dragged their way to victory.
Kudus was in the mix for the leveller, his presence at the back post enough to force Nemanja Petrovic to bundle Said Benrahma’s cross into his own net.
The summer signing from Ajax did get his goal soon after, nodding a James Ward-Prowse corner through a crowd and into the far corner.
The home side ensured a stress-free close to the game when substitute Tomas Soucek headed home from another Ward-Prowse corner eight minutes from time.