Penalty shoot-out joy for Hammers in Germany
- Credit: EMPICS Sport
Hammers see off hosts in Schalke Tournament
Schalke 04 0 West Ham United 0
West Ham win 7-6 on penalties
Two saves from Jussi Jaaskelainen and successful spot-kicks from Kevin Nolan, James Collins, Elliott Lee, Diego Poyett, Joey O’Brien, Dan Potts and Sebastien Lieget gave Hammers a two-point, penalty shoot-out win in this Schalke 04 Tournament in Germany.
Alongside the seniors - including five summer signings – Hammers manager Sam Allardyce had chosen to give experience to youngsters Danny Whitehead, Sebastian Lletget, Matthias Fanimo, Reece Burke and Josh Cullen.
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Hammers were workmanlike, defending well but lacked width and pace on the counter-attack.
Stewart Downing showed some industry on the right flank for the Hammers, supported by O’Brien but there was little support through the middle as Carlton Cole ploughed a lone furrow up front.
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Collins was the usual rock in defence, getting on the end of most balls into the box, while Diego Poyet showed his ability to get on the ball when he got his chance..
Schalke had Hammers backs to the wall for the last part of the first half, but the defence held firm.
As the half-time whistle blew, it was Schalke who had come closest, with Choupo-Moting hitting the post and also working Jaaskelainen with a low shot. For the Hammers, Poyet’s early deflected effort worked Giefer.
Second-half substitutions saw a half-time change for Schalke, with Santana on for Matip. West Ham also made a swap, with Winston Reid on for James Tomkins.
It was much of the same from the east Londoners, though, with Cole left to lead the line with little support. Potts and Cole picked up yellow cards for over-enthusiastic challenges.
Hammers continued to frustrate their opponents as the game looked certain to head into penalties.
When they came, two fine saves by Jaaskelainen and good spot-kicks from the Hammers seven saw the two-points go the way of the Boleyn boys, who face Malaga in their second match tomorrow.
After the match, manager Allardyce said he was happy with the workout.
“It was a great workout in a fantastic stadium,” he said. “When we got here and realised there would be penalties, the lads said they’d rather not practice them but see who fancied it on the day.
“It was good to see the young players get involved but we need more firepower up front.
“I’m hoping to get one more player in and that will be it for our squad and our budget,” he concluded.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, O’Brien, Tomkins, Collins, Potts, Nolan (c), Kouyate, Poyet, Fanimo, C.Cole, Downing. Subs: Reid, Cresswell, Jarvis, Lletget, Zarate, Vaz Te, Adrian, Cullen, Lee, Noble, Jenkinson, Nasha, Diame, Whitehead, Burke.