Ipswich Town 1-4 West Ham United
Pre-season match, Portman Road, Tuesday 25 August 2020
Three goals from Sebastien Haller helped to secure an emphatic 4-1 victory for West Ham United in a pre-season fixture at Ipswich Town.
Tomas Soucek netted the Irons’ other finish, with the Czech Republic international’s header sandwiched between two Haller strikes in a frantic five-minute spell in the middle of the second period. Former West Ham striker Freddie Sears scored for the home side with the Irons leading 2-0.
West Ham took the lead on the stroke of half-time as Grady Diangana turned the ball to Haller inside the six-yard box, with the same combination leading to the Hammers’ – and Haller’s – second on the hour mark.
Sears would strike just moments later before Soucek turned in Conor Coventry’s cross, before Haller grabbed his third after a defensive error.
With First team coach Alan Irvine leading a separate group of Hammers over at Wycombe Wanderers, Academy prospects Coventry and Ajibola Alese played in defence, and the returning Diangana on the left wing for West Ham at Portman Road.
Andriy Yarmolenko, the man who scored West Ham’s final goal of the 2019/20 campaign, enjoyed his role on the right, twice setting up chances for the Hammers in the opening 15 minutes.
The Ukrainian won a corner for his side after some great work, before latching onto a poor backwards header and squaring to Haller, who could only send his shot into goalkeeper Tomas Holy after a fantastic turn.
Diangana switched the play over to Yarmolenko with a fabulous cross-field ball next, with the No7 interchanging with Felipe Anderson before looking to set up his fellow winger, but the cross was over Diangana’s leap.
Ipswich pressed and forced Tomas Soucek into an error just after the half-hour mark, with Flynn Downes testing Darren Randolph from distance, before Haller had another close-range effort denied by Holy.
As the first-half ticked towards its conclusion though, Haller would not be denied a third time. Quick feet by Diangana on the left flank got the Academy graduate past his defender and onto the by-line, before he returned the ball across goal, from which the Frenchman gratefully struck home.
An early change in the second half for West Ham – the introduction of Goncalo Cardoso for Ajibola Alese – was followed by four goals in a thrilling five-minute spell at Portman Road.
As the match ticked over to the hour mark some fantastic, patient play on the edge of the box led to West Ham’s second. Soucek lofted the ball to Diangana, who took a touch before once again finding Haller in space. The striker made no mistake from the edge of the six-yard box, powering the ball into the roof of the net.
Former Hammer Sears halved the deficit less than a minute later, scoring for Ipswich Town after being found in space by Emyr Huws, but Soucek restored the two-goal advantage with a well-taken header – after a Coventry cross - only moments after the restart.
Haller’s hat-trick was complete just a couple of minutes later, collecting a poor back-pass by the home side to slot the ball into the empty net and give the Irons a 4-1 lead.
Randolph denied Ipswich from close range on 89 minutes, sending an effort out for a corner, to confirm the result.