The image which sums up what Europa League qualification means for West Ham

West Ham United remain in contention for a place in the group stage of the Europa League.

West Ham United have progressed to the third qualifying round of the Europa League, but only just.

The Premier League outfit got the better of Maltese side Birkirkara in the second qualifying round only on penalties.

The Hammers won the first leg of the tie 1-0 at the Boleyn Ground and lost the second leg in Malta by the same margin on Thursday.

The tie went into a penalty shootout, which West Ham won 5-3 to retain their chances of featuring in the group stage of the 2015-16 Europa League campaign.

One of the Hammers’ players who featured against Birkirkara was Diego Poyet, who came on as a substitute just before the hour mark.

The above picture of the young midfielder sums up what progressing to the third qualifying round of the Europa League means for West Ham.

The London outfit are determined to make themselves a force in the Premier League in the coming years, and playing in the Europa League in the upcoming 2015-16 campaign will be a step towards it.

FIFA World Cup 2018FIFA 2018 World Cup Russia - click here for all of our coverage...

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch