West Ham United 0, Astra Giurgiu 1 (Aggregate: 1-2)
West Ham manager Slaven Bilic blasted his players after they fell at the final Europa League play-off hurdle to Romanian side Astra Giurgiu for the second year running.
Portuguese former West Brom midfielder Filipe Teixeira scored the only goal to deny the Hammers a place in the group stage and a European campaign to mark their first season at the London Stadium.
The hosts – missing key men Dimitri Payet, Andy Carroll, Manuel Lanzini and new signing Andre Ayew – wasted an array of chances, with loan signing Jonathan Calleri notably culpable.
“We can always find excuses like missing players and that we should have scored the chances we created and all that, but we didn’t play good,” said Bilic.
“Of course I am angry and frustrated and everything but I’m much more disappointed than angry, because we really wanted to go through to the Europa League. That’s why we tried so hard last season, to have this opportunity.”
Teixeira, 35, finished a swift counter-attack just before half-time and West Ham failed to find a response. Substitute Ashley Fletcher had perhaps their best chance, but shot at Astra goalkeeper Silviu Lung from close range.
The Hammers last night announced the signing of Swiss midfielder Edimilson Fernandes from Sion and remain strongly linked with Juventus forward Simone Zaza.