Youngsters Victorious

A West Ham Unted under-18 side have won the Cerezo Cup in Japan - in dramatic fashion.

The squad arrived on Wednesday and had three short match practice sessions with Cerezo under-18s the next day.

On Friday, in the Nagai stadium where England played Nigeria in the World Cup last summer, they played South Korea under-18s and drew 0-0, going through on penalties.

On Saturday, they won 1-0 against Nagasaki U18s with a Phil Lumsden header - Graeme Carrick supplying - in hot and humid conditions at the end of a typhoon.

On Sunday they faced Osaka under-18s, who had won both of their games, and went 1-0 up with Graeme Carrick again providing the assist, this time for Chris Cohen to score.

Osaka equalised, with Danny Bunce then being sent off before half time for two yellow cards.

Just after that break - there was also a stop half way through each half for the intake of fluids in searing heat that nearly matched the temperature the first team had to endure in Preston! - Liam Parrington was also sent off for a tackle from behind.

This meant having to play 35 minutes with just nine men, and, when Osaka were awarded a penalty, it looked as if the game would slip away.

But 16-year-old goalkeeper Darren Behcet made a full length save, and then became the hero of the day when, after the game finished 1-1, he slotted home the ninth West Ham penalty after the opposition goalkeeper had placed his spot-kick wide.

So, after a dramatic 9-8 scoreline on penalties, he was carried off by his jubilant team mates.

Congratulations to all the youngsters involved.