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Spurs v Tigres - Dallas Cup - 31.03.10
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

          Dallas Cup XXXI
Pizza Hut Soccer field #7, Frisco, Texas
     Wednesday 31st March 2010, 12noon

      SPURS       v           TIGRES
  (White/Blue)             (All Yellow)
      4-4-2                    4-4-2

       2(1)                    0(0)

Tottenham Team Jansson, Nicholson, Butcher(Munns 61), Durojaiye, Francis-Angol(Tapping 46), Carroll, Cox, Pritchard(Luongo 79), M'Poku, Byrne, Oyenuga.

Unused subs Archer, Bartram.

Coach J. McDermott

Scorers Oyenuga 42, Byrne 69

Booked Pritchard 16(Simulation), Butcher 59(Late)

Tigres Team Tovar, Alonso, Gonzalez, Galvan, Aguilar, Torres, Guzman, Monroy, Saenz, Barouch, Villegas

Unused subs Asprilla, Berltran, Campoy, Cavazos, Gamino, Garcia, Perez, Tovar, Vogel.

Coach J. Chapa

Booked Perez 58(Late)

It was another hot sunny morning with a strong gusting wind coming from the south that favoured the team defending that end of the pitch. Spurs lined up with Jansson in goal with Butcher and Durojaiye in front of him with Nicholson at right back and Francis-Angol on the left. Cox and Pritchard started in the centre of midfield with Carroll on the right flank and M'Poku on the left. Byrne joined Oyenuga up front.

Spurs defended the north end of the pitch facing into the wind but coped well with the conditions as both sides took a while to settle down. Butcher and Durojaiye held the defence together as a base for the midfield to drive forward through Pritchard in the centre and Carroll and M'Poku on the flanks. The pace of Byrne and the physical strength of Oyenuga kept the Tigres' defenders on their toes.

For Tigres Gonzalez commanded his defence and Aguilar and Guzman were the main threat.

Pritchard jinked past Gonzalez on the edge of the area but was pulled back by the defender. I was trying to see if it was a penalty but the ref throught differently and booked the Spurs player for diving. Francis-Angol over-lapping down the right got into the area but his effort was saved. Pritchard failed to get on the end of a good pass from M'Poku.

Aguilar had an easy effort saved by Jansson before Torres fired over and Guzman shot wide. Oyenuga was played in down the right channel; stepped inside the full back and drove the ball against the near post. A minute later Carroll got behind the defence but the keeper was quickly out to block his effort. Oyenuga drove into the area and was tripped for a penalty which was taken by M'Poku. It was no suprise when Vazquez saved it diving to his left as our conversion rate this season has been very poor. It could have been worse if Villegas had not fired wide minutes later. Instead, Spurs finally scored. M'Poku had swapped sides and drove into the area from the left and hit a rising drive that Vazquez got his hands to leaving Oyenuga with a simple header at the far post to take the lead.

Barouch got to the left touchline and fizzed the ball across the goalmouth which only needed a touch to finish.

Spurs started the second half with Tapping coming on for Francis-Angol who was not fully fit from the previous game. Two minutes in and a cross field ball was picked up by Aguilar on the right and he unleashed a volley that came back off the inside of the near post with the keeper beaten. With the wind behind them Spurs continued to launch attacks which now had long balls out of defence added to the mix. Vazquez collected an easy effort from Pritchard and saved from Oyenuga released by a ball over the top. He then pushed over a free kick from Carroll for a corner and saved from Oyenuga after the corner was not cleared fully.

Substitute Perez was booked for clattering Pritchard and Butcher was also booked after a hard tackle in the centre circle. From the free kick Jansson saved from Barouch. Byrne got free on the left and squared the ball to M'Poku who could not get a shot in. Tapping played a one-two before having a shot that was saved for a corner. Butcher came off with a knock and was replaced by schoolboy Jack Munns. Munns is even shorter than Pritchard and went into the midfield with Cox dropping into the back four.

Villegas saw his effort saved before Spurs increased their lead. Oyenuga played a through ball to Byrne who drew the keeper before slipping past him and putting the ball into an empty net. Byrne then fed Oyenuga whose effort was saved before he fired wide from a pass by M'Poku. Asprilla fired over before Campoy saw his effort saved. Luongo came on for Pritchard as Spurs looked to close out the game. Campoy fired wide before Byrne had another shot saved and Tovar put his effort wide as play moved from end to end. Luongo had a chance from Carroll's free kick but was slow to react. The hard working Aguilar had the last chance when he fired wide.

This was a good result as not only did Spurs have to play with a small squad but they were mostly one or two years younger than the Tigres players. Despite this they worked hard in the warm conditions to create space and not allow Tigres the room they needed to play. After the second goal they relaxed enough to play their normal one touch passing game. They finished the group stage undefeated but were expected not to qualify for the semi-finals due to Japan playing the weakest team in their final match. I'm not sure how the coaching staff feel now after finding out that the Texans beat Japan in the last group match. The Dallas outfit took the lead when the Japanese keeper collided with one of his defenders with the ball going in for an own goal. They hit back to lead 2-1 by half time but conceded two goals in the second half.

       P  W  D  L  F-A  GD  Pts.
SPURS  3  2  1  0  5-3  +2   7
Japan  3  1  1  1  6-6   0   4
Tigres 3  1  0  2  6-6   0   3
Texans 3  1  0  2  5-8  -3   3
I did not find out about the Japan result until I was at the Pizza Hut Stadium for the two evening games. The second match between Mexican side CD Guadalajara Chivas and Cruzeiro Esporte Clube from Brazil suddenly took on a new significance. Both had won their opening two matches with Chivas having the better goal difference. Chivas took the lead in the 19th minute direct from a free kick by Hernandez but Cruzeiro equalised a minute later also from a free kick. The kick was headed on to the post to leave a simple tap-in. The game settled into an even game with Chivas picking up four yellow cards to two for Cruzeiro. Cruzeiro gradually got on top as Chivas started to drop deep.

It looked like Chivas had got the draw they needed when the fourth official held up his board with five minutes of added time on it. In the first minute of added time Chivas lost a player to a second yellow and came under pressure with the keeper having to make several good saves to keep Cruzerio out. With a minute left Carvalho won the game for Cruzerio with a spectacular scissor kick from ten yards into the near corner. So Spurs will meet Cruzerio in the first semi-final on Friday with the winners to play the victor of the all Mexican tie between Monterrey and the Mexico national team.


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