West Ham spoiled Ange Postecoglou’s much-anticipated Tottenham coaching debut Tuesday with a pulsating 3-2 pre-season friendly victory in Perth.
West Ham thwarted Spurs’ late rally in a freewheeling contest between the London rivals in front of 46,266 fans at Optus Stadium.
The departure of captain Declan Rice to Arsenal has barely affected West Ham, who won their third straight pre-season game after Gianluca Scamacca broke the deadlock in the 78th minute.
They exploited a new-look Tottenham, who showcased glimpses of the high-octane style expected under Postecoglou but were creaky in defence.
Tottenham had a remarkable 30 shots to four but rued a slew of missed opportunities.
“There was a real willingness to put in place things we were working on,” Postecoglou said.
“We are still in the infancy of establishing our structures.”
Even though West Ham had just 28 per cent of possession, coach David Moyes was encouraged by his team’s ability to make the most of their chances.
“I would like us to score more goals than last year, it’s something we are hoping to improve on,” he said.
“We were good on the counterattack and took the opportunities.”
Harry Kane took Tottenham’s captaincy reins amid uncertainty over his future, having been courted aggressively by Bayern Munich.
He had an early close-range shot sensationally blocked by goalkeeper Lukasz Fabianski but was relatively subdued before being substituted at half-time.
Marquee signings Guglielmo Vicario, James Maddison and Manor Solomon started in their Tottenham debuts.
Former Empoli goalkeeper Vicario is seen as a replacement for captain Hugo Lloris, who has skipped the tour as he seeks opportunities elsewhere.
Vicario was unable to curtail a couple of well-executed set pieces from West Ham before being substituted at half-time.
Much like Postecoglou’s previous teams, Tottenham started in swashbuckling style with several early shots on goal denied by Fabianski.
West Ham drew first blood against the run of play when striker Danny Ings finished off a superb Jarrod Bowen cross with a header past Vicario.
Tottenham’s defence was again exposed by an efficient West Ham as 18-year-old Divin Mubama headed another slick set piece into the net.
Spurs continued to press only to be denied by Fabianski, who had been outstanding in West Ham’s 6-2 win over Perth Glory on Saturday.
Postecoglou rang the changes at half-time, flipping his team entirely, and it did the trick as Tottenham dictated in inclement conditions.
They were rewarded when Giovani Lo Celso scored from close range before debutant Destiny Udogie levelled in the 71st minute with a brilliant header.
But Scamacca scored against the run of play to deny Postecoglou a fairy-tale start.
Tottenham’s Asia-Pacific tour continues against Leicester City in Thailand on July 23 before travelling to Singapore to play Lion City Sailors.
West Ham return home to play Dagenham and Redbridge on July 22.