West Ham United 1-1 Bursaspor
Kieron Dyer struck his first goal in West Ham United colours and Luis Jimenez made his debut in a creditable 1-1 draw against Turkish side Bursaspor in a stifling Bad Rakersburg on Wednesday night.
England midfielder Dyer, who got an hour's play under his belt to continue his excellent pre-season, struck after just three minutes following a lovely pass from James Collins, who himself was one of the most impressive performers on view. Jimenez also looked good in his first run-out for the Hammers since his move from Internazionale last month but it was not to be a winning bow as a result of the 54th-minute equaliser from Turgay Bahadir.
Gianfranco Zola had named a strong starting eleven with Jimenez wearing his preferred No17 shirt and England trio Robert Green, Matthew Upson, wearing the captain's armband, and Carlton Cole along with Portugal's Luis Boa Morte all getting their first action of pre-season. Zola also had to think about another friendly to come on Thursday evening - across the border in Slovenia against ND Mura 05.
Before then was the challenge of Bursaspor, and the club who finished sixth in Turkey last season named a strong side. Midfielders Huseyin Cimsir and Ali Tandogan are both Turkish internationals, striker Shin Young Rok has been capped three times by the Korean Republic and goalkeeper Dimitar Ivankov has represented Bulgaria 54 times. Austrian midfielder Bahadir naturally proved popular amongst the local support
It was the Hammers fans who were out in force though for this second game of the Austrian tour after last Saturday's match with Werder Bremen was cancelled because of a waterlogged pitch. West Ham had drawn 1-1 with SVL Flavia Solva exactly a week ago in their opening fixture in Austria.
Jimenez was lively from the off and showed neat skill on 20 minutes after a burst from Junior Stanislas. At the other end, Collins and Upson had to be alert on several occasions to deny the Turkish side decent opportunities. Stanislas was then again involved ten minutes before the interval when combining well with Cole.
The second half was a scrappier affair with substitutions and some hefty challenges holding up the play. Savio and Zavon Hines entered the fray at the interval for Stanislas and Cole, with Marek Stech replacing Robert Green in goal. Dyer and Collins made way for Payne and Bondz 'Gala respectively. The focus was brought back to the game on 75 minutes though when delightful skill from Jimenez nearly set Hines away.
The changes continued on 80 minutes with Jordan Spence, Georg Grasser and Oliver Lee replacing Upson, Jimenez and Jack Collison - who had scored against Flavia Solva. A winning goal failed to materialise though but Zola will have been pleased with the run-out especially for the likes of Julien Faubert and Herita Ilunga, wearing his new No23 shirt, as they both played a full 90 minutes in the Thermenarena.