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JD strikes Hammer blow

Posted on 29 July 2009  - 12:00

Jermain Defoe pounced to beat West Ham and book a place in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy against Hull City on Friday.

JD strikes Hammer blow

Jermain Defoe pounced to beat West Ham and book a place in the final of the Barclays Asia Trophy against Hull City on Friday.

The in-form striker latched onto Aaron Lennon's pass in the 75th minute and slotted low past Robert Green for the 1-0 win at the Worker's Stadium in Beijing, China.

Hull beat local favourites Beijing Gouan 4-3 on penalties as the evening's second game finished 1-1 after 90 minutes.

We will now meet the Tigers in the final kicking-off at 8.30pm local time, 1.30pm UK.

The victory was no less than we deserved afer dominating for long periods and carving out the best chances from the first to the last minute on another hot and humid night in Beijing.

Indeed, West Ham rarely threatened - Carlton Cole scooped their best chance over from close range in the 82nd minute.

In a lively opening few seconds Jamie O'Hara sent Kyle Naughton scampering away down the right and the new boy, operating in right midfield, nearly caught Green by surprise with a rising cross-shot. Captain Luka Modric then fired wide following the resulting corner.

It was the team in white setting the pace, with O'Hara providing the promptings in midfield, while Wilson Palacios scurried and snapped back possession when required.

Green took two takes to grab hold of a Roman Pavlyuchenko shot from distance before Naughton drilled just across the face of goal seconds after Luis Boa Morte was stretchered off following a collision with Benoit Assou-Ekotto.

O'Hara dispossessed Mark Noble and slipped through to Pavlyuchenko, who curled his effort onto the post, with the rebound blocked by James Collins. Tom Huddlestone fired just wide from a free-kick from 30 yards in the 16th minute as the pressure was cranked up on the East London side.

Naughton cut back a deep ball from the left from O'Hara, teeing up half a chance for Pavlyuchenko, which was blocked with the Russian looking poised to open the scoring. O'Hara was next to opt for a curler with right-footed effort after moving in from the left, with Pavlyuchenko smashing just over the bar moments later.

It was pretty much one-way traffic with West Ham offering little in the way of an offensive contribution. It was a dominant display with plenty of creative possession, just lacking a goal.

The excellent Modric again turned on the style three minutes before the break, skipping forward but, like his teammates before him, just failing to land a shot inside of Green's left hand upright.

Spurs v WH, China

There was one change after the break with Robbie Keane taking over from Pavlyuchenko, while the verve and slick interchange of the first half was quickly in evidence with the skipper immediately linking well with Defoe.

Keane proceeded the chip into the path of his strike partner, who was clear of his marker, but his shot on the turn was narrowly too high.

O'Hara and Mark Noble were booked on 55 minutes following a coming together between the England Under-21 teammates before some quick-footed trickery from Defoe took him around Collins but he was unable to keep his shot down.

The pressure was fairly unrelenting with West Ham largely pinned back in their own half, while Harry Redknapp looked to increase the pressure with the introduction of Aaron Lennon with 20 minutes remaining in place of Naughton.

The deadlock was nearly broken when Keane played in Modric inside the area, but Green advanced quickly and managed to block his effort.

On 75 minutes the gate was finally unlocked when Lennon squeezed Defoe clear and the little hitman struck an effort that Green could not hold and the ball rolled into the net.

It was a more than deserved goal to cap a polished and encouraging performance at this stage in pre-season.

Spurs: Cudicini; Hutton, Corluka, Huddlestone, Assou-Ekotto; Naughton (Lennon 70), Palacios (Livermore, 83), O'Hara, Modric; Pavlyuchenko (Keane 46), Defoe. Unused subs: Gomes, Chimbonda, Dervite, Rose, Obika, Bostock.

West Ham: Green; Faubert, Upson, Collins, Ilunga; Stanislas (Savio, 66), Dyer (Parker, 46), Collison (Hines, 81), Boa Morte (Noble, 14), Jiminez (Spector, 81); Cole. Unused subs: Stech, Kurucz, N'gala, Gabbidon, Tomkins, Spence , Payne.