Rice’s first half seemed to be the only goal in an attrition game – the Hammers’ first European meeting in the group stage at London Stadium – until Said Benrahma also struck in the last minute of time. stoppage as David Moyes’ side continued their opening victory over Dinamo Zagreb to take control of Group H.
West Ham could have been in the lead in under six minutes, but Rice’s powerful header on a free-kick from Aaron Cresswell crashed into the post and Issa Diop scrambled the rebound.
Cresswell’s set piece deliveries were causing all kinds of trouble for Rapid Vienna and Craig Dawson was the next to run into the woodwork after a corner kick.
But West Ham got the goal their efforts deserved shortly before the half hour mark, when an excellent move saw Andriy Yarmolenko pass to Michail Antonio, who touched his chest before squaring the ball for Rice to hit. at home inside the six-meter box.
It was the second goal in as many European games for the England midfielder after his effort in Zagreb a fortnight ago.
The key moment in a rather sleepy second half in east London came when Rapid Vienna substitute and top scorer Marco Grull came under pressure from Ben Johnson after a nice one-two just inside from the surface of West Ham.
German referee Tobias Stieler immediately indicated the penalty spot, but there was no contact and the prize was rightly canceled after a VAR check and the referee was asked to consult the monitor ground.
Jarrod Bowen was one of four substitutes introduced by Moyes in a bid to kill the game and he should have gone 2-0 with less than 10 minutes left after being played by a fabulous ball from his replacement colleague Pablo Fornals, but he was checked out by former Tottenham defender Kevin Wimmer and ended up exploding high and wide.
Rapid Vienna goalkeeper Paul Gartler also denied the lively Fornals, but West Ham ultimately took the win in the last minute of five with Benrahma delivering a nice curled finish in the bottom corner.