WELLINGTON PHOENIX v WEST HAM UNITED
FOOTBALL UNITED TOUR
EDEN PARK, AUCKLAND, NEW ZEALAND
WEDNESDAY 23JULY 2014
KICK-OFF: 7.37PM NZ TIME
Full-time - Wellington Phoenix 2-1 West Ham United
96: O'Brien's cross is headed clear. West Ham have one last chance as Zarate tries to beat his man, but he can't. The ball rolls away for a goal kick, but before it is taken the referee Peter O'Leary blows for full-time.
94: What a save from Italiano! Downing cuts inside and fires a curling low shot towards the far bottom corner. The keeper dives and tips the ball past the post. The corner is cleared.
93: The home fans are whistling. Two minutes of added time to play...
91: Vaz Te nicks the ball off a dawdling defender and Downing crosses. The ball falls to Whitehead, whose first-time shot is on target but patted down and held by Italiano.
90: Gorrin is replaced by Brindell-South. We will have five added minutes.
85: Zarate gets in behind and his cross is blocked behind. Downing whips in a superb corner that Reid rises and nods a foot or two wide of the far post. That would have been a nice moment for the Auckland native.
84: The changes continue. Blake is on for Riera, while Fanimo replaces Nolan. He goes wide left and Vaz Te goes up front with Zarate.
82: Ridenton flies past Potts and keeps the ball in, but he cannot beat Tomkins with his low cross. Corner. Vaz Te heads it clear.
81: The Phoenix replace their goalkeeper, with Italiano on for Moss. West Ham bring on Whitehead for Diame. Reid, Nolan and Jaaskelainen are the only starters who remain on the pitch for the visitors.
79: Nice football and so nearly an equaliser for West Ham and two for Zarate. A long raking ball sends Nolan clear. He finds Potts wide left and the substitute crosses for Zarate, who opens his body up well and diverts a volley that floats just wide of the far post.
78: Potts on for Cresswell, while the home side replace Burns with Boxall.
77: Downing collects a pass from O'Brien wide right and gets past his man to the byline. The right-foot clipped cross beats Moss, but Vaz Te is beaten to it by the centre-back, who bravely heads clear.
76: Zarate does well again, cutting in from the left before finding Downing. He looks up and feeds Vaz Te, who tries an audacious shot from 35 yards. It is on target, but doesn't trouble Moss unduly.
74: Downing beats his man with a neat turn and fires a left-foot shot from 25 yards that Moss spills. He recovers just about quickly enough to dive on the ball ahead of Nolan, who was following in.
74: That was a great piece of play from Zarate. He has such quick and neat feet in tight spaces. Very encouraging.
71: Jarvis is replaced by Vaz Te and Poyet is on for Noble, while the Phoenix replace Brockie with Krishna. The Phoenix look tired.
70: GOAL! Zarate! The Argentine has looked really good since he came on and he scores a belter. Jarvis feeds from the left and the No10 takes a touch and then another to lose his man before curling a super shot inside the left-hand post. The keeper had no chance.
68: O'Brien on for Demel and Tomkins on for Collins.
67: Downing has been lively since he dame on. His birthday game of crazy golf has clearly got him in the mood. He gets into the box and beats one, but his low pass for Zarate is cut out. Unlucky.
65: Ridenton is booked for fouling a flying Downing. The No11 takes the free-kick himself, but it's not a great delivery and is headed clear.
64: Zarate involved. He wriggles away from a defender and tries to get past a second, but he is tackled and Jarvis is beaten to the ball by Muscat. On the big screen, a tribute to Newcastle fan John Adler appears. He was 64 when he sadly was killed in the MH17 disaster last week.
61: Cunningham involved again, collecting a pass from Brockie and slicing a shot past the near post. Another change, with Ridenton on for Fenton wide right.
60: Burns lets fly from distance and it fizzes a yard past the top corner. I think Jaaskelainen had it covered, though. Two changes from West Ham before the goal kick - Downing on for Cole and Zarate on for Kouyate.
57: Demel and Collins get themselves in a pickle and Cunningham benefits, nicking possession before being fouled by Demel a yard outside the box. The free-kick is to the far post, where Cresswell does well to head clear.
55: Before the goal kick, Cunningham is on for Boyd wide on the left. I suggest that won't be the last substitution we see tonight!
55: Decent move from the Hammers ends with a headed clearance dropping to Noble, but he cannot keep the shot down.
52: Cresswell wriggles past two defenders and crosses low to the near post. Nolan is beaten to the ball by Sigmund and the Phoenix clear. They go up the other end at pace and Boyd tries a cross-shot that loops onto the roof of the net.
49: Reid goes up for a header from Moss's goal kick and manages to win the ball and then nod the back of Burns' head. He gets some treatment and is quickly back into the action. Collins lofts the ball forward to Moss from the re-start, sportingly, and the goalkeeper nearly makes a meal of it. He controls with his knees and then collects.
48: Jarvis beats Muscat again and gets to the byline, but he can only lift his cross harmlessly onto the roof of the net.
46: Demel and Kouyate combine before Diame gets past his man and wins a corner off Doyle. Noble takes, but it's headed clear.
46: The teams are back out again. West Ham kick-off the second half shooting towards their own supporters. No changes from Big Sam, who takes his seat to my left in the coaches' room.
Half-time - Wellington Phoenix 2-0 West Ham United
46: That's half-time. The whistle is greeted with a cheer from the Phoenix fans in the 20,000-plus crowd here at Eden Park.
45: We're going to have one added minute at the end of the first half. West Ham dominated early on, but couldn't find a way past Glen Moss. The Phoenix struck their opening goal out of nothing and have grown in confidence, doubling their lead with a neat finish from Gorrin.
41: Noble finds Cole inside the centre circle. He controls well and spins and finds Diame. The No21 runs at his man and tries to cut inside Doyle on the edge of the box, but the defender reads it and makes the tackle cleanly. Good defending.
40: West Ham have a free-kick wide right. It is headed clear by the first defender.
37: Diame slaloms past three players but then slices his left foot shot high and not very handsome. It lands on a Phoenix banner behind the goal.
34: Jarvis has a bit of space on the left from Noble's pass. He ignores the overlapping Cresswell and is tugged back before curling a right-foot shot a few yards wide.
29: Jaaskelainen catches under his crossbar after Brockie wins a right-wing cross and sends a looping header towards the top corner. The Phoenix are full of confidence, which is no surprise considering the scoreline.
27: Goal! Wow. Gorrin wins a block tackle with Collins that leaves the centre-back on the turf. The Spaniard continues and Cresswell backtracks, allowing the No8 to slot a neat and well-placed finish into the far corner past Jaaskelainen.
25: How have West Ham not scored? Jarvis crosses and three West Ham players have a go at scoring - Diame shoots, then Kouyate mis-kicks and Nolan cannot force the ball past Moss.
23: Gorrin is the latest Phoenix player to give away a free-kick by fouling Cole on halfway. He walks away with his arms spread in mock innocence. Collins lifts the free-kick into the box and Cole wins it. He nods across goal for Diame, whose own header from distance loops wide of the far post.
22: Nolan heads Cresswell's throw-in back to the No3. He takes a touch and whips over a left-footed cross for Diame, but Doyle is positioned well and flicks his header away at the far stick. The throw comes to nothing more than a goal kick.
20: The home side win the ball back quickly on halfway from the Finn's clearance and work it neatly to left winger Boyd. He cuts inside and shoots right-footed, but it's a skidder straight into the arms of Jaaskelainen. He holds on securely.
20: Jarvis misplaces a pass and the Phoenix break. Brockie beats Cresswell but cannot get past the covering Demel, who pokes the ball back to Jaaskelainen.
18: The Phoenix made a late change to their starting XI. No24 Doyle is at left-back instead of No25 Blake.
15: A cross from Demel towards Cole again, but the No24 cannot direct his header on goal and the Phoenix scramble the ball clear. West Ham are camped inside the home side's half again.
11: Goal! The home side lead. Former Sunderland midfielder Gorrin curls a free-kick to the near post and Durante gets in front of his marker and heads past Jaaskelainen at the near post.
11: Noble hauls down Burns wide right and is booked. It's to the side of the penalty area in a dangerous area.
10: The Phoenix are not lying down here. This time Reid is caught late as he clears, but the big man is OK.
8: Jarvis does superbly to take on his man and beats him to the byline before cutting back for Cole. Durante deflects the ball and Moss makes a fine save. He pushes the ball away to his left and the ball goes out for a corner. That initially is cleared and when Cresswell crosses, Moss catches high above his head.
6: Jarvis crosses from the right and Cole wins the header, but it's too close to Moss and the 'keeper holds on.
5: Fenton goes in hard and catches Kouyate. It's not a very good tackle at all. Replays and slow motion images on the big screen are not pretty as the No16 catches the Senegal midfielder on the shin. However, Kouyate is a strong man and is up on his feet. He jogs over to the near sideline after treatment.
3: West Ham have started well here. They've been controlling possession in the early stages. One cross into the box from Demel causes goalkeeper Moss to flap, but there is no West Ham player there to benefit from the loose ball.
7.39pm - The game begins, with West Ham kicking from right to left.
7.37pm - After a combined team photo, the Hammers line up on the edge of the centre circle to face a Haka from the Maori performers. It is a fearsome sight, is the traditional Maori challenge.
7.35pm - The teams are out a little late. They line-up and, before the handshakes, there is a moment's silence for John Adler and Liam Sweeney, the two Newcastle United fans who died in the MH17 tragedy last week. It is immaculately observed.
7.25pm - The two teams have completed their warm-up and we're now enjoying a traditional performance from a Maori group. It is something special and a unique experience for many of the Hammers fans behind the goal to my right. Follow us on Instagram - link above - to view exclusive video and photo content from tonight's game!
Hello and welcome to Eden Park for this evening's Football United Tour fixture between West Ham United and Wellington Phoenix - 11,400 miles from the Boleyn Ground!
The stage is set for a unique sporting occasion in Hammers history as we play in New Zealand for the first time ever - with the opponents being the country's only top-flight professional club.
Sam Allardyce and his squad have been in New Zealand since Saturday, holding a succession of Open Training sessions at North Harbour Stadium and Eden Park - the latter being the iconic home of Auckland Blues and the legendary All Blacks.
The Hammers have received a fantastically warm welcome from the Kiwis and will be keen to put in a performance to show their appreciation this evening. At the same time, the fixture plays a big part in West Ham's pre-season schedule, being the third of seven fixtures ahead of the 2014/15 Barclays Premier League campaign.
The Football United Tour kicked-off in Dunedin on Wellington's South Island on Tuesday evening, when Newcastle United scored a 4-0 win over The Nix's A-League rivals Sydney FC.
West Ham face Sydney in Wellington on Saturday ahead of Newcastle's meeting with the hometown Phoenix. Tonight, Big Sam's men will hope to match that result against Ernie Merrick's side, who finished second-from-bottom in the A-League last season.
Team-wise, the only player absent will be Andy Carroll, who is being rested for the two New Zealand fixtures after feeling pain in his ankle in training earlier this week. Four of West Ham's five summer signings - Cheikhou Kouyate, Mauro Zarate, Aaron Cresswell and Diego Poyet - are all set to feature.
Prior to kick-off, a moment's silence will be held in memory of John Alder and Liam Sweeney, the two Newcastle fans who were tragically killed en route to New Zealand, when a Malaysian Airlines flight was shot down over Ukraine last week.
Following the coin-toss, the Hammers will then receive a traditional Maori challenge in the shape of the Haka - the ferocious war dance performed regularly by the All Blacks rugby union side.
For those not able to attend at Eden Park, tonight's match will be screened live on television in New Zealand on pay-per-view by Sky Sport, in the UK by BT Sport and in more than 20 other countries around the world.
We would obviously like to thank each and every fan for their support of the Club and the Football United Tour, whether you are at the ground in person or watching at home on television at all times of day or night!
So, without further ado, here is tonight's team news. Jussi Jaaskelainen will start in goal, with a back four of Guy Demel, James Collins, All Whites captain Winston Reid and Aaron Cresswell. The midfield will see Cheikhou Kouyate and Mark Noble playing deep, with captain Kevin Nolan ahead of them. ohamed Diame and Matt Jarvis will play wide, with Carlton Cole in the central striking role.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen, Demel, Reid (c), Collins, Cresswell, Kouyate, Noble, Nolan, Diame, Jarvis, C.Cole
Subs: Adrian, Howes, Tomkins, Downing, Fanimo, O'Brien, Potts, Poyet, Vaz Te, Whitehead, Zarate
Wellington Phoenix: Moss, Muscat, Gorrin, Burns, Brockie, Boyd, Riera, Fenron, Sigmund, Durante (c), Blake
Subs: Italiano, Caira, Boxall, Brindell-Smith, Cunningham, Rufer, Hicks, Lia, Krishna, Ridenton, Doyle