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West Ham goalscorer Zarate bemoans Astra comeback

Striker Mauro Zarate declared he was “very sad” after West Ham gave up a lead to draw 2-2 with Astra in their UEFA Europa League qualifier on Thursday.

West Ham looked set for a first-leg victory when Zarate carved his way through Astra’s defence in the 51st minute at Upton Park to give the home side a 2-0 advantage but James Collins’ red card eight minutes later allowed the Romanian visitors back into the contest.

Astra struck twice in the final 20 minutes to secure a draw ahead of next week’s second leg in Giurgiu, leaving West Ham with an empty feeling, according to Zarate.

“It was bad in the dressing room after the game because we scored two goals and in the second half we had to play a little bit more, but that is football,” the Argentine told West Ham’s website after the first leg of the third-round qualifier.

“It was great for me to score a goal but I am also very sad as this is not a good result for us.

“We will have another tough game in Romania next week. They will attack and we have to win. It will be a good match for everyone.”

Zarate’s goal was his first of the 2015-16 season, with the 28-year-old looking to impress manager Slaven Bilic after spending the second half of last term on loan at QPR.

West Ham will head to Romania knowing Collins will be unavailable through suspension, while Bilic will have to watch from the stands after also being sent off on Thursday.

Injury clouds hover over Enner Valencia and Joey O’Brien after both failed to complete 45 minutes in the first leg.

Fri 31 Jul, 2015
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