Monday 20 November 2017

Record-breaker Defoe seals Spurs' progress

Europa League Round-up


ERIK LAMELA'S first goal for the club and a record-breaking penalty from Jermain Defoe secured safe passage into the knockout stages for Tottenham as they beat Sheriff Tiraspol 2-1 at White Hart Lane.

The first half saw little in the way of creativity from Spurs, but they burst into life after an hour, with new boy Lamela at the heart of their attacking prowess.

The 21-year-old, who has yet to start a Premier League game, put in one of his most assured performances since his arrival from Roma and topped it off by tucking away the first goal on the hour mark before being tripped inside the box moments later to give Defoe a chance to make history from 12 yards.

The England striker converted the penalty to claim his 23rd European goal for the club – one more than Martin Chivers managed during his time at White Hart Lane.

But Spurs did not have everything their own way. For all of their defensive work, Sheriff threatened twice in the first half before Ismail Isa grabbed a goal on 72 minutes to keep the home side on their toes.

SWANSEA were again pegged back by a late Kuban Krasnodar goal as Ibrahima Balde's stoppage-time equaliser denied them a win in Russia.

Wilfried Bony had put the Swans ahead in the ninth minute and they looked to be on the brink of a place in the knockout stages when their hosts had defender Xandao sent off with 15 minutes remaining.

But, as had happened when Djibril Cisse struck a stoppage-time penalty in Swansea two weeks ago, they failed to hold out for all three points as Balde just beat Michel Vorm to a lofted pass and lifted the ball over the goalkeeper to make it 1-1.

Swansea have now won just two of their last nine in all competitions, but they should have left the Kuban Stadium with three points after dominating the first half.

Wigan suffered the first defeat of their maiden European campaign as Oleg Kuzmin's strike steered Rubin Kazan to a 1-0 victory in Russia.

Irish Independent

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