|Boca Juniors 2 Tottenham Hotspur 2 (Half-time score : 1-2)|
|Peace Cup||Venue : Suwon, Korea|
|Saturday 16th July 2005||Kick Off : 11.00 a.m. (UK time)|
|Crowd :||Referee :|
|Weather : Hot, humid|
|Teams : -|
Reid (El-Hamdaoui 77)
Defoe (Routledge 64)
|Colours : - (kits courtesy of http://www.colours-of-football.com)|
|Scorers : -|
|Cards : -|
|Match Report : -|
'competitive' pre-season friendly ended in 2-2 draw with Boca Juniors in
the humid heat fo Suwon in Korea.
From the first minute, it looked like Spurs might be on the end of a right hammering, with Boca finding an easy path through the middle of the Tottenham defence. When Gago broke in the first few seconds, he picked up a pass off a colleague and hit an early shot that flew well wide. The only recompense for this miss was the fact that it put off the inevitable for a minute or so. Within two minutes, Spurs were a goal behind. An old fashioned long ball down the middle was seized on by Delgardo on the left side of our defence and as Cerny came out to close him down, the Boca striker slipped a low shot past him to make it 0-1.
The Tottenham defence had been caught napping and appealing for offside. It didn't get a lot better straight away, as they were left standing by another direct ball through the heart fo the defence, where a pass out to the right put Gago in for a shot that he tried to curl around Cerny, but the Czech keeper leapt to catch the shot.
Play settled down a bit and it was on the quarter hour that Spurs had their first threat on goal, with Carrick hitting a looping shot wide from a poor clearance, but another Boca attack left Spurs trailing as Palacio ran through to strike a low shot that Cerny once more was called into action to gather.
Tottenham then started to get it together, with Mendes beginning to exert an influence, while Tainio found his feet and began spraying passes around. He looked a decent enough player with a will to win the ball and when he had got it, play a bit, with passes out side and some neat little touches on the ball. He also seemed keen to get into the box, which we need from our midfield. It was the Finn's interception that led to the goal. Defoe got the ball, beat one man, took the ball of another as he dallied on it, then found a yard of space in the box before crashing home his shot across Abbonanzeri. It was a typical Defoe goal in a way. A chance bit of possession and a fine striker's finish.
That was 28 minutes in and three minutes later, it was 2-1 to Tottenham. Tainio got the ball and fed Mendes, who was easing through the midfield and slid a pass into centre field to Defoe. Looking up, Jermain poked a short pass into the path of partner Mido, who took one touch out of his feet and struck a low shot right to left across the keeper as he set himself. It was another good forward's goal, taking the shot early after pushing it just out of the closing defender's reach.
The defensive pairing of King and Dawson were settling too, with them both making important blocks as Boca players closed in on goal. King almost put one in for Boca, with his headed interception dropping on top of the net with Cerny stranded. From the corner resulted and when it was played in, Cagna got to it at the near post with a back-heel that flew goalwards, but luckily, at a good height for Cerny to take cleanly. At times it was route one stuff from the Argentinian side. The keeper booted the ball upfield and Schiavi got to the ball first and with the goal in sight pulled his shot wide of the mark.
The ref was giving some generous decisions and a free-kick was played in to the near post, with a Spurs body getting in the way. As it flew up, Cagna was underneath it to hit a fierce volley that Cerny had a clear sight of and pushed over the bar.
The first half reflected the various stages the teams were at in their seasons. Boca at the end o their season and arriving only a couple of days before the game, while Spurs are building up to the start of the season and had acclimatised a bit better.
Boca came out quicker at the start of the second half, with Cerny drawn into a diving save to tip around a 20 yard shot from Delgardo. Then, the Spurs keeper found himself picking the ball out of the net when Cagna hit a free-kick from left of the penalty area past him, but it was indirect and nobody had touched it, so play was restarted with a goal-kick.
It was interesting seeing Defoe up against some strapping South American defenders, but he gave as good as he got. In fact, he out-muscled the defender to get ahead of him and lobbed the ball goalwards, but not high enough for the keeper to be caught out. Michael Dawson spilled blood for the team, when he got an elbow in the face and suffered a broken nose, playing on for ten minutes before having to leave the field. Spurs were breaking from some good passes from midfield and when Carrick released Andy Reid on the left wing, the Irishman cut inside and struck a cross-shot that Abbonanzieri pushed out with no Tottenham shirts available to seize on it.
Both sides made changes, with Routledge and Gardner coming on for Tottenham and it was Routledge who provided a low cross into the box which Mido was just a yard away from. Then Carrick put a nice ball over the defence for Tainio to run onto, but the Boca keeper beat him to it. When the Argentinian side broke away with 70 minutes played, substitute Bilos took the ball into the Spurs area and unchallenged hit a low drive into the bottom corner of the net for the equaliser. It was disappointing, but Tottenham had been doing their old trick of backing away as players pressed towards the Spurs goal and the shots had all been off target or easy for Cerny until then.
More substitutes disrupted the flow of the game and the game ran out of steam in the steamy atmosphere, with Boca happy for the draw and Spurs having to make do with the one point.
As a pre-season exercise, it might have come a little too soon in Tottenham's preparation, but I think they played well in patches, with their concentration lapsing in other parts. With two more games to play, it will be a nice exercise in seeing how their play improves over the remaining games of the tournament.
MEHSTG TOP MAN : - TEEMU TAINIO
First of all, I'm very pleased that we've offloaded Atouba and got our money back.
Yes, he won us 3 points up in Geordieland but did precious little else for us, other than turn my mum into a nervous wreck every time he did a back-heel in front of Robbo ! Never mind, he's gone now.
Saw the Bocas game in its entirety on
British Eurosport and it was intriguing, if not particularly
I'll give brief summary on each player.
Cerny looked quite good and far more
reliable than Keller ever was. Handling and catching was good and he
made some good flying saves. Maybe could've done better with the Boca
Yes, Wyart, things are interesting and I
look forward to the Lyon game later next week.
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