FC 2 (0) Tottenham Hotspur
Thursday 24th July 2014 Kick off 00:00 (UK time)
BMO Field Stadium
Ceballos (foul on Morgan)
|Crowd : 55,349||Weather : Very warm, sunny|
|Referee : Mr. - (USA)||Assistant Referees : - (-)|
|Fourth Official : -||-|
|Game time : - 90+2 minutes|
|Toronto FC :||kit||Tottenham Hotspur :||kit|
Chris KONOPKA (40
Quillan ROBERTS 46)
Jonathan OSORIO 46)
Andrew WIEDEMAN 46
Kyle NAUGHTON ( 2
Aaron LENNON (44
Cristian CEBALLOS 46 )
|Manager : Ryan Nelsen||Manager : Mauricio Pochettino|
|Sponsor : BMO||Shirt sponsor : AIA|
|Kit Supplier : Adidas||Kit Supplier : Under Armour|
Although Spurs established a 2-0 lead through two Erik Lamela goals, Toronto came back into the game with a more youthfully energetic side in the second period, before succumbing to a late Spurs winner.
Toronto are in the midst of a heavy programme of matches and unsurprisingly, they chose to rest their commonly picked players for the second half and this gave Spurs a few more problems, with the central defensive pairing of Michael Dawson and Zeki Fryers looking vulnerable against a bit more lively movement. With Ryan Nelsen, our former centre half in the dug out for Toronto, he might have had a bit of an insight into the players, but the style was not the same as when Harry Redknapp brought him in from Blackburn Rovers.
Spurs exhibited the pressing game Pochettino wants them to play from the off, winning two quick corners from pressurising the man on the ball in the first place. Quick passing opened up Toronto early on and Lamela and Lennon both had shots, with the keeper saving Erik's effort and Aaron hitting the side netting. However, in the 16th minute, Soldado picked out a pass that Lennon let run for Lamela to strike low form the left hand corner of the area past Konopka, leaving the keeper with little chance. It was a well-worked goal and one that shows the growing confidence of Lamela, who is fit now and probably feeling a bit more at home with a fellow Argentine in charge.
Brad Friedel was in goal as the senior keeper on tour and he had to dash out to stop Defoe getting through before rising to punch away a cross into the box. Christian Eriksen was buzzing around the opposite end and had a couple of efforts, with the keeper saving one before the other was hit off target, but with Tottenham moving the ball well, the chances came and Lennon had a shot blocked before Ryan Mason skied one over the bar. With only five minutes before the break left, Erik Lamela made it 3-0 with an action replay of the first goal, as he struck from the same place with a shot across the keeper when Soldado laid the ball into his path.
Toronto won a couple of free-kicks just before half-time, with Velkjovic bringing down Jermain Defoe, who found little joy against his former team-mates, but neither came to anything.
As expected on tour, the half time break brought a lot of substitutions and in this case it was for both sides. Ceballos and Townsend had early efforts and then Holtby brought a save from Roberts, who used his legs to stop his shot. It took nearly an hour for Toronto to make a decent chance and Osorio's square ball should have been better finished by Bekker, but he put the ball about a yard wide from a good position on the edge of the penalty area. Spurs responded with a tempting cross bent in low by Danny Rose from the left wing, leaving Harry Kane the opportunity, but the striker could not get much on it and the ball went a yard wide with the goal at his mercy.
As it was, it proved a costly miss, as Toronto went up the other end and scored. When Lovitz took the ball off Ceballos in midfield, he threaded a pass through the defence, splitting Fryers and Dawson, allowing Andrew Wiedeman to strike a first time shot from the left of centre 12 yards out to beat Brad and leave the ball nestling in the bottom corner of the net in the 64th minute.
The goal inspired the home team to push forward and the goal-scorer hit a 20 yard effort straight at Brad, while Christian Ceballos had a similar effort from slightly further out that dipped a little too late and went over the bar. From the next Toronto attack, they were level, with Wiedeman setting up Jordan Hamilton for his first goal for the club, as he struck with a little run to the right and s sharp finish that beat Brad's dive.
Bringing the score back to 2-2 ignited Spurs and a move down the right released Walker into the box, fro where he chose to have a shot at the near post, but only hit the side-netting, while Townsend struck a shot from outside the area straight at Roberts. Not that it mattered, as with five minutes left, Lewis Holtby won the ball in midfield and started a break on the Toronto goal. With defenders out-numbered, the ball was played left to Townsend, who switched inside to hammer a shot from just left of the D to fly across Roberts and into the top corner of the net to restore Tottenham's lead.
The rest of the game was played out with little to write about and Spurs won their first game of pre-season, despite taking their foot off the pedal or just having a misunderstanding in the back four. Having let in five goals in two games, it will be something for Mauricio to address and the forward play is something he won't have to worry about too much. The benefits of the pressing game were there to see today, with the winner near the end a testament to the fitness of the players this early in the preparation for the real thing.
So, onto Chicago for the last game before heading home and then to Finland for the match with Celtic. A strange setting, but by then, more of the squad will be back and the build up starts in earnest.
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