Di Canio seals Intertoto entry

16 May 1999
FA Carling Premiership
Boleyn Ground
West Ham United 4-0 Middlesbrough

West Ham United had spent the majority of the season in the dizzying heights of the top end of the Premiership with dreams of European qualification, but after two disastrous results and only one game to go it was looking doubtful.

Harry Redknapp's men had just suffered a 5-1 home defeat by Leeds, being reduced to eight men, and a 6-0 loss away at Everton.

Middlesbrough visited the Boleyn Ground for the final game of the season and the Hammers needed a victory to qualify for Europe, providing Arsenal did them a favour by beating Aston Villa. The midlands club pipped West Ham United to the post the previous campaign after beating Arsenal on the final day, so nothing could be taken for granted.

The hosts got off to the best possible start when Frank Lampard fired in after only four minutes and Marc Keller tapped in from close range before half-time. News filtered through from Highbury that Kanu had scored on 66 minutes and West Ham promptly made it three through Trevor Sinclair.

Minutes later, Paulo Di Canio finished from close range and confirmed the victory.  West Ham United won, Villa lost and the Hammers had finished fifth - the best since the famed 1985/86 season. As a result, they were awarded a place in the Intertoto Cup - the first time West Ham had qualified for Europe via a league position.

West Ham United: Forrest, Potts, Ruddock, Ferdinand, Minto, Berkovic, Lampard, Foe, Keller, Di Canio, Sinclair (Cole 83).

24 August 1999
UEFA Intertoto Cup final second leg
Saint-Symphorien Stadium
FC Metz 1-3 West Ham Utd (West Ham United win 3-2 on aggregate)

West Ham United's season began unusually early this year with their first competitive fixture coming on 17 July in the Intertoto Cup against FC Jokerit.

Despite their fifth-placed finish, West Ham United were not awarded a place the full UEFA Cup and had to qualify via the early competition. Harry Redknapp's side progressed easily to the final with victories over Jokerit and Holland's Heerenveen, but faced a tough test against FC Metz in the final.

The French side came to the Boleyn Ground for the first leg and returned very happy after a 1-0 victory. Frank Lampard also spurned the chance to equalise from the spot, and West Ham had a quite a job to do if they were to qualify. The one thing a travelling West Ham side can count on, however, is terrific support, and the Boleyn Ground faithful had made the trip across the channel in great numbers and were in full force that night.

A left-footed drive from Trevor Sinclair opened the scoring after 25 minutes and wiped out the away goal. They were then in dreamland two minutes before the break when Lampard fired home and gave West Ham the lead on aggregate.

Metz fought back hard and ensured a nervy finale with a goal 20 minutes from time, but Paulo Wanchope rounded the keeper, coolly slotted the ball away and put the Hammers into the hat for the UEFA Cup first round draw.

West Ham United: Hislop, Ferdinand, Lomas, Potts, Sinclair, Lampard, Foe, Keller, Moncur, Di Canio (Cole 78), Wanchope