West Ham United supporters and Royal Marine Commados Kris Dawson and Jack Holloway saw their joy at playing at the Boleyn Ground turn to despair as their team were beaten in a penalty shootout.
Dawson, Holloway and their fellow soldiers from 42 Commando - based in Plymouth - stormed into a 3-0 lead against a team consisting of players from the David Beckham Academy in Greenwich.
However, the Marines allowed their opponents to claw their way back into the game after half-time and the match ended in a thrilling 3-3 draw. The resulting shootout saw the Academy run out narrow 5-4 winners after Hammers fan Holloway missed the vital spot-kick.
Lt Dawson, whose team was coached by former West Ham midfielder Don Hutchison, said: "We started quite well and were 3-0 up at half-time, which we were quite happy with. We were quite confident of winning the game but unfortunately a couple of mistakes in the second half let them back into the game and they got an equaliser right at the death.
"We finished at three-all and had a penalty shootout but unfortunately lost 5-4 on penalties! It was a little bit like the 2006 FA Cup final and unfortunately we came up a bit short at the end. I scored my penalty, so at least I can say I scored at Upton Park!
"Overall, we really enjoyed the game and it was a nice change of scenery. It was amazing to play here. I've been here as a fan many a time and it was quite intimidating taking a penalty with nobody here, so I can't imagine what it would be like when it is full. Playing here was a dream come true."
For Lt Dawson and his team-mates, playing at the Boleyn Ground was a less daunting prospect than their day job, which has seen many of them serve their country in places like Afghanistan in recent months.
"A lot of the boys were away in Afghanistan last year and came back in September and they were featured in the Channel 5 programme 'Royal Marines: Misson Afghanistan' recently.
"They had a nice successful tour, but it was good to have some time to enjoy another battle by playing football at West Ham.
"We turned our visit to London into an educational one - we visited the Imperial War Museum and the Houses of Parliament. It's been a great change of scenery and a great opportunity for the lads, a lot of whom have never visited London. We've all thoroughly enjoyed it.
"I'm really excited about next season and am hoping to get back up here as often as I can. We're all working at the Olympics in the summer, so hopefully I'll get the chance to see a few games at the start of the season."
The full Royal Marine Commandos team was: Dan French, Jack Askew, Damian Cowell, Terry Jeffries, Phillip Spencer, Kris Dawson, Jack Holloway, Jake Barkham, Lee Robinson, Ben Williams and Marc Dawson.