Saturday 24 February 2018

Keane back in for Spurs

Gordan Tynan

Robbie Keane was back in a Tottenham shirt on Saturday -- but he failed to find the target in a goalless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes as Spurs opened their pre-season tour of the United States.

Keane, back from his loan spell at Celtic, did have the ball in the back of the net early on when he tapped in Jermaine Jenas' drilled effort but the Dubliner was judged offside.

Spurs also welcomed back Carlo Cudicini, who was making his first start since being involved in a motorcycle accident last November, and the former Chelsea goalkeeper was called upon to make several decent saves.

Elsewhere, Garry O'Connor scored an 88th-minute winner as Birmingham City began their three-match tour of the Far East with a 3-2 victory over a Hong Kong XI at Hong Kong Stadium.

O'Connor, who was injured for most of last season, sidefooted home from eight yards following Nikola Zigic's lay-off as Birmingham fought back from 2-1 down in a game played in blistering heat that saw debuts for both the Serbian striker and former Manchester United 'keeper Ben Foster.

Another player coming back from long-term injury, Michael Essien, scored the decisive goal as Premier League champions Chelsea won 1-0 at Crystal Palace.

Essien was joined in an otherwise youthful starting XI by fellow first-teamers Petr Cech, Alex and John Obi Mikel Obi for the friendly.

Newcastle enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 victory at Carlisle thanks to goals from Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic.

Boudewijn Zenden's strike seven minutes from time secured Sunderland a 1-0 triumph at Darlington. Kevin Davies and Tamir Cohen scored as Bolton beat Charleston Battery 2-0.

Manchester City, meanwhile, kicked off their summer tour of the United States with a 3-0 victory over the Portland Timbers. Stephen Ireland and Emmanuel Adebayor gave City a 2-0 half-time lead before Brazilian striker Jo netted his side's third in the 68th minute. (© Independent News Service)

Irish Independent

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