Preseason can be very weird, and West Ham got another taste of how peculiar it could be in their 3-3 draw Tuesday evening against German fifth division side Altona 93.
Javier ‘Chichairto’ Hernandez debuted his new #17 jersey in his first appearance with his new club, as the Hammers never lead against their modest opponents. Altona 93 resembled more a Bundesliga 2 side than their current position, however, as they scored a fine free kick from Nick Brisevac in the fifth minute. But less than 60 seconds after, the Hammers produced a response as Toni Martinez continued his fine preseason with another goal to even the match.
Altona 93 would take the lead again with another impressive finish in the 39th minute, as Dennis Thiessen curled one from 25 yards out that Adrian could do nothing about. Reid would then be sent off after putting up a second yellow before halftime, as the Hammers played the rest of the way with 10 men. Being down a player didn’t stop the Slaven Bilic’s side from leveling again, as Andre Ayew smashed home a bounce ball in the 53rd minute after a great pass from Pedro Obiang.
Andre Ayew's fantastic goal vs Altona 93 pic.twitter.com/8bDuXcBdwr— West Ham Stats (@WestHamStats) August 1, 2017
Altona would take the lead for a third time in the 58th minute, when poor set piece defending from Arthur Masuaku lead to Darius Stode finishing past Adrian. Marko Arnautovic provided another moment in a promising preseason with him, hitting the post in the 61st minute. West Ham would equalized for the third and last time, as Sam Byram’s electric substitute appearance lead to him crossing a fine ball to Nathan Holland for the 19-year-old to get over the line in the 72nd minute.
Hernandez was lively in his debut and came close to scoring twice, including a breakaway run on goal that was just cleared off the line by Altona 93.
West Ham’s final preseason friendly before their Premier League opener against Manchester United on August 13 will be against Manchester City on Friday in Laugardalsvöllur, Iceland. Yes, you can try and pronounce that town’s name in Iceland if you want.