Football: Hammers lose again in NZ

By Daniel Richardson

Winston Reid of West Ham leaves the field at the end of the game. Photo / Getty Images
Winston Reid of West Ham leaves the field at the end of the game. Photo / Getty Images

Sydney 3
West Ham 1

West Ham United will leave New Zealand with few fond memories.

Twice in the space of four days they have been humbled by A-League opposition and haven't looked flash in the process.

They were tipped up 2-1 by the Wellington Phoenix in Auckland on Wednesday and followed it up with a limp 3-1 defeat at the hands of Sydney FC at Westpac Stadium today.

The result was made more surprising by the fact that Sydney looked so poor on their way to begin hammered 4-0 by Newcastle United in Dunedin on Tuesday during the opening match of the Football United Tour.

The 23rd edition of the English Premier League gets underway on August 16 and on the evidence of their time Down Under, the Hammers are going to need all of the remaining three weeks to prepare.

West Ham open their Premier League campaign against Tottenham Hotspur and the Spurs will provide a far more challenging examination than two A-League sides who don't start their campaigns proper until mid-October.

You could brush the two defeats off as meaningless pre-season games but West Ham manager Sam Allardyce will likely feel a dose of pressure given the way his side offered little on attack in today's loss.

A strong crowd at the Cake Tin didn't have to wait long to see a goal as former Phoenix frontman Corey Gameiro provided Sydney with a surprise lead in the third minute.

Alex Brosque then doubled their advantage before the half-hour mark as the travelling West Ham fans probably began to wonder what their heroes had got themselves in to by agreeing to tour New Zealand.

The Hammers got on the board when Sydney skipper Nikola Petkovic deflected a Matt Jarvis cross in to the back of his own net but any hope of a West Ham comeback was short-lived when Gameiro added his second.

Gameiro's second came on the back of some of the worst officiating you may see in an organised football game as Sydney's Terry Antonis clearly used his hand to control the ball before putting Gameiro through on goal.

West Ham captain Winston Reid pleaded with the referee but the goal stood and the result was all but confirmed with 25 minutes left.

Sydney FC 3 (Corey Gameiro 3, 64, Alex Brosque 26) West Ham United 1 (Nikola Petkovic own goal 50) halftime: 2-0

- APNZ

© Copyright 2014, APN New Zealand Limited

Assembled by: (static) on red akl_n2 at 21 Oct 2014 18:26:41 Processing Time: 439ms