West Ham lose Betway Cup in penalty shoot-out
PUBLISHED: 17:24 03 August 2019 | UPDATED: 17:24 03 August 2019
PA Wire/PA Images
The Hammers come from two goals down against Spanish side but still lose out in shoot-out
West Ham United 2 Athletic Bilbao 2
Bilbao win 4-2 on penalties
The Hammers came back from an early two-goal deficit to force a penalty decider in the Betway Cup at the London Stadium, but a lively Athletic Bilbao side went on to lift the trophy with a 4-2 victory in the consequent spot-kick shoot-out.
A Sébastien Haller own-goal had put the Spaniards - who finished eighth in La Liga last season - ahead with just over 60 seconds on the clock before Iñaki Williams doubled the visitors' lead on the quarter-hour mark.
But the red-faced Haller atoned for his early error by playing a huge part in a quick-fire double from Manuel Lanzini and Jack Wilshere as the Hammers levelled with two goals in as many minutes, midway through the first half.
Ahead of next Saturday's big kick-off against reigning Premier League champions, Manchester City, Manuel Pellegrini was only missing two players for his side's final pre-season match as Lukasz Fabianski (groin) and Mark Noble (dead leg) sat out this Anglo-Spanish duel.
That gave the Hammers fans the chance to run the rule over the Chilean's summer signings, Haller - a record £45m capture from Eintracht Frankfurt - Pablo Fornals, his £24m acquisition from Villarreal plus 'keeper Roberto, a free transfer from Espanyol.
And Haller took less than two minutes to open the scoring but unfortunately for the Frenchman, it was at the wrong end as he inadvertently sliced Unai López's left-wing cross past fellow new boy Roberto into his own net.
It was hardly the start that the Hammers - who finished in tenth-place last season - wanted and, on the quarter-hour mark, things got yet worse, when Bilbao doubled their lead after Williams ghosted in front of Fabián Balbuena to prod home Iker Munian's low, right-wing centre into the six-yard box.
The few hundred Spanish fans sat behind compatriot Roberto's goal were the only ones with anything to cheer but, on the 20-minute mark, Haller showed just why Pellegrini had splashed the cash last month, as he pulled the Hammers back into the contest with two displays of towering strength inside the space of 60 seconds.
First-up, the French International U-21 striker collected at the far post, where he expertly held the ball up before inviting Fornals to send an athletic bicycle-kick into the path of Lanzini, who lashed into the net from six yards.
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Then, with the Hammers quickly winning possession from the consequent restart, Haller again used his muscle to hold off his markers before cleverly cutting back from the byline and giving Wilshere the opportunity to equalise with a well-placed, low 15-yarder.
Aaron Cresswell then tested Iago Herrerin with a 20-yard free-kick, while Iñigo Córdoba blazed wide from range at the other end as the opening 45 minutes ended all-square.
Michail Antonio replaced Fornals for the restart and, shortly afterwards, Ryan Fredericks was booked for a clumsy challenge on Cordoba, while Felipe Anderson and Haller then forced fine close-range stops out of substitute 'keeper, Unai Simón.
At the other end, Yuri Berchiche fired an angled 20-yarder beyond the base of the far post before Pellegrini introduced Andriy Yarmolenko, Robert Snodgrass and Angelo Ogbonna for Wilshere, Anderson and Balbuena as the predictable flurry of late substitutions commenced.
Grady Diangana, Javier Hernández and Ogbonna almost marked their arrivals with late goals but in the end it proved that all the telling action had come in those opening 22 minutes and the match went to a penalty shoot-out.
Although Ibai Gómez struck a post, both Hernández and Diangana fluffed their lines for the Hammers leaving Berchiche to calmly slot home the deciding fifth spot-kick that gave Bilbao a 4-2 victory on penalties.
HAMMERS: Roberto, Fredericks (Zabaleta 81), Cresswell (Sánchez, 74), Diop, Balbuena (Ogbonna 66), Rice (Hernández 74), Wilshere (Snodgrass 66), Fornals (Antonio h/t), Lanzini (Diangana 74), Anderson (Yarmolenko 66), Haller (Masuaku 74). Unused subs: Martin, Cullen, Johnson.
LOS LEONES: Herrerin (Simón h/t), Núñez, Yeray (Vivian 81), López (Gómez 70), Williams (Aduriz 81), Muniain (Marcos 81), Córdoba (Sancet 70), D. Garcia, Berchiche, Capa, R. Garcia (Beñat 81). Unused subs: Oleaga, José, Larrazabal.
Booked: Fredericks (50)
Referee: Michael Oliver.
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