Jussi Jaaskelainen was the hero as West Ham United began their Schalke 04 Cup challenge with a dramatic penalty shootout victory over the hosts.

The veteran Finnish goalkeeper made two spectacular saves from Felipe Santana and Axel Borgmann to inspire the Hammers to a 7-6 shootout success, after the game had finished goalless at the Veltins-Arena.

Jaaskelainen had been called into action before his spot-kick heroics, saving with his body from Eric Choupo-Moting early on and showing his usual reliable handling on a number of other occasions.

"The main is that we needed to take our penalties and we did that, which gave me the opportunity to save their kicks," said the stopper, with trademark modesty.

"We had eight penalties and we only missed one, while I think you should always save one out of three as a goalkeeper, so it was all right.

"I did read what they were going to do a little bit. They were young boys coming up to take them and I was lucky enough to go the right way for both of them."

Jaaskelainen signed a new one-year contract earlier this summer and it is clear that he will compete fiercely with Adrian for a place in Sam Allardyce's starting XI this term.

With displays like the one he put in at the Veltins-Arena, the 39-year-old will definitely give Big Sam food for thought when it comes to picking his team to face Tottenham Hotspur on 16 August.

"That's the way I always see things in pre-season," he confirmed. "This is my 17th pre-season over here in England and I always think we all start in the same boat and will be trying to impress the manager.

"The most important thing is to get yourself fit and be ready for the start of the season.

"It's still pre-season and personally it was good for me to get a second 90 minutes under my belt after I played against Wellington Phoenix.

"In New Zealand, we did some good work and saw lots of fans over there, but the travelling was a little bit tough so this week it was good to have a full week of training, have a couple of games here and go on from there.

"The boys looked much more solid than we did in New Zealand, but when you're playing against teams like Schalke that has to be the case. You have to be more solid at the back.

"We created a couple of half-chances, but obviously we want to create a few more chances. At the end of the day, we got the clean sheet and we didn't pick up any more injuries, so that was good."

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