By Gursimran Hans
Javier Hernandez made his West Ham United debut as the side drew 3-3 against fifth tier side Altona 93 in Germany.
West Ham showed some devastating forward play but seemingly forgot how to defend. A Nick Brisevac free-kick, which Adrian should’ve done better to save was netted after five minutes.
The Hamburg based side were still celebrating, when young Spanish striker Toni Martinez latched onto a Winston Reid through ball and curled into the net, for his second goal in as many games.
Altona had several decent chances with Theissen, Schulz and Hosseini firing just wide. It was Thiessen who got the next goal – curling home from 25 yards.
Winston Reid – back from shin surgery and captaining the side was booked for dissent after this goal and was later shown a second yellow for dissent after being penalised for a shove in the box.
Andre Ayew then prodded home a bouncing through ball after the break, but West Ham again struggled from free-kicks with Darius Stode poking home a loose ball from Serhat Cayir’s delivery.
Marko Arnautovic who was doing his best Panzer impression throughout the game then rattled the post. Then on came Javier Hernandez.
Chicharito’s presence drew away two markers and allowed the space for Nathan Holland to fire a shot which bounced in after a deflection from Joshua Du Preez.
Chicharito nearly gave the Hammers the lead for the first time after rounding Du Preez, but had his shot heroically clearly off the line. He also showed good link up play with Edimilson Fernandes, who cracked a decent shot wide, before also having an effort fire just wide after being clipped in the area.
West Ham’s stay in Germany thus ended without a victory, a loss, two draws, six goals against and a red card. The Hammers midfield were bypassed time and time again. Pre-season may only be about fitness but with the season kicking-off in under a fortnight, there’s massive work to be done on the training pitch. Mind you, pre-season tends to juxtapose our performances in the actual competitive season, so what do I know?
Altona 93 – Grundmann (Matthai ’27, Grubba ’46, Du Preez ’61), Aniteye (Stode ’46), Yilmaz (Kunter ’46), Hosseini (Lechler ’74), Buzhala (Holz ’46), Brisevac (Wachowski ’46), Rettstadt (Cayir ’46), Hinze (Edeling ’46), Novotny (Sachs ’46), Schultz (Correia Ca ’46), Thiessen (Hadid ’46, Schultz ’83)
Goalscorers – Nick Brisevac ‘5, Dennis Thiessen 39, Darius Stode 58
West Ham United – Adrian, Zabaleta (Byram ’57), Reid (c), Ogbonna (Rice ’57), Cresswell (Masuaku ’46), Obiang, Fernandes, Arnautovic (Holland ’67), Snodgrass (Fonte ’46), Ayew (Makasi ’70), Martinez (Hernandez ’70)
Unused Sub – Hart.
Goalscorers – Toni Martinez ‘6, Andre Ayew ’53, Joshua Du Preez (og) ’78.