West Ham United completed their tour of New Zealand with a 3-1 loss against Sydney FC this morning

Mark Noble was at fault for Sydney's opener. Picture: Action Images

Mark Noble was at fault for Sydney's opener. Picture: Action Images

First published in Sport

West Ham United rounded off their tour of New Zealand with a second defeat in as many games – going down 3-1 to Sydney FC this morning.

Corey Gamiero put the A-League side ahead before Alex Brosque doubled the home side’s lead with 26 minutes on the clock. An own-goal from Nikola Petkovic gave West Ham a glimmer of hope before Gameiro grabbed his second in controversial circumstances.

Sam Allardyce named a strong team, with All Whites captain Winston Reid again skippering the Hammers side.

Sydney took the lead after just four minutes. Mark Noble gave possession away cheaply, allowing Ali Abbas to pick out Gameiro - who had got beyond Joey O’Brien - and slot underneath Adrian.

The early setback prevented the Hammers from building any momentum and an injury to Guy Demel after just 13 minutes provided another setback.

A second goal arrived just before the half-hour mark, with the Hammers again guilty of sloppy play.

Mo Diame was sold short by a poor pass and Bernie Ibini-Isei nipped in before picking out Brosque with O’Brien out of position. The forward then slotted beyond Adrian with minimal fuss to double Sydney’s lead.

Stewart Downing tried his luck shortly after the goal but saw a rasping drive blocked by goalkeeper Vedran Janjetovic.

The hosts’ keeper then flapped at a Noble free-kick but no-one could take advantage from the loose ball for the Hammers.

West Ham continued to dominate the play, O’Brien getting down the right to cross for Kevin Nolan, who could not turn beyond Janjetovic from close-range to halve the deficit.

Just six minutes after the restart, West Ham hauled themselves back into the contest.

Matt Jarvis crossed and the unfortunate Petkovic, in trying to clear the ball, could divert beyond his own goalkeeper with Downing and Mauro Zarate lurking.

The chances continued to flow for both sides, with Zarate shooting wide and Gameiro firing into the side netting after evading his marker in the penalty area.

Substitute Peter Triantis came close after his introduction, firing a shot off the crossbar on its way over.

In the 64th minute, Sydney got a decisive third, though replays showed the goal shouldn’t have stood.

Terry Antonis progressed beyond Aaron Cressell – only after handling the ball – before playing a one-two with Ibini-Isei and cross for Gameiro to round Adrian and slip the ball home.

West Ham United: Adrian; Demel (Cresswell 13), Reid (c), Collins, O’Brien (Potts 72); Noble (Whitehead 68), Diame (Poyet 68), Nolan; Downing (Fanimo 81), Cole (Zarate HT), Jarvis (Vaz Te 59).

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