Despite a late Tomas Soucek own goal, West Ham advanced to the Europa League knockout stages in David Moyes’ 1,000th match as manager.
Moyes has gained more than enough experience in his nearly 24 years in charge to know that emotion is meaningless, and his team had to come back from a goal down in Belgium.
The Hammers paid the price for a slow start at Cegeka Arena, with Joseph Paintsil darting onto Junya Ito’s pass and goalkeeper Alphonse Areola unable to stop the forward’s low strike.
Benrahma equalized after the break after a smart pull-back from Vladimir Coufal and then added a delightful individual effort eight minutes from time to seemingly seal the win.
With three minutes remaining, Soucek inadvertently turned a cross into his own net.
Moyes’ side has 10 points from four games, six more than Genk with two games remaining, and looks set to win Group H. That would guarantee them a place in the last-16 rather than having to compete in a play-off with the third-placed team from the Champions League as group runners-up.
Dinamo Zagreb’s 3-1 victory over Rapid Vienna moved the Croatian club into second place, four points behind West Ham.
“I look at it that we’ve qualified, and the other part of it is we’re still new to this,” said Moyes.
“We are trying to keep players fresh for the Premier League, so somewhere along the line it was going to get bumpy – and Genk made it bumpy.”