West Ham began their tour of New Zealand with a 2-1 defeat against Wellington Phoenix this morning.
Goals from Andrew Durante and Alejandro Gorrin – formerly of Sunderland’s Under-18s put the hosts 2-0 up at the break before Mauro Zarate bagged his first in claret and blue after the break.
Wellington took the lead after just 11 minutes, Gorrin swinging a free-kick to the near post where centre-back Durante nodded beyond Jussi Jaaskelainen in the Hammers goal.
The Hammers responded well to the setback and should have been level when Matt Jarvis crossed; Mo Diame, Cheikh Kouyate and Kevin Nolan all falling to convert.
Just two minutes after the Irons’ best chance, Gorrin grabbed the Phoenix’s second.
Having won a block tackle against James Collins, the midfielder advanced beyond Aaron Cresswell and fired into the bottom corner to double the lead.
Nathan Burns tried his luck on the hour mark, fizzing an effort narrowly over West Ham’s crossbar.
Substitute Zarate dragged Sam Allardyce’s side back into the contest in the 70th minute, collecting a pass from Stewart Downing and curling beyond Glen Moss and into the far corner of the net.
The Argentine could have bagged a second with 11 minutes remaining, sending a volley just wide of the far post following a cross from Dan Potts.
West Ham United: Jaaskelainen; Demel (Tomkins 68), Reid (c), Collins (O’Brien 68), Cresswell (Potts 78); Kouyate (Kouyate 60), Noble; Nolan (Fanimo 84), Diame (Whitehead 82), Jarvis (Vaz Te 71); C.Cole (Poyet 60).