Sunday 21 January 2018

Spurs suffer Europa setback as Okaka hits late winner

Anderlecht 2 Tottenham 1

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino
Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino

Mark Bryans

Tottenham sacrificed an early lead as their Europa League campaign suffered a blow with defeat to Anderlecht.

Mauricio Pochettino fielded a strong side in Brussels and brought Harry Kane off the bench with the scores level after initially resting the England striker as he named Clinton Njie as his lone forward, handing his summer recruit his maiden start.

Things looked to be going smoothly for Spurs as Christian Eriksen scored early on after a positive start, but after a number of missed chances the hosts levelled through Guillaume Gillet's volley, with Stefano Okaka striking late on for the Belgian side.

Eriksen put Spurs ahead inside five minutes as he collected possession following a fortuitous rebound and tucked the ball past Silvio Proto.

The Dane came close to adding a second with a free-kick that deflected inches wide of Proto's goal with the hosts' skipper stranded, while Erik Lamela should have done better when through one on one.

Despite the early threats, Tottenham were made to rue their inability to add to their lead as Gillet's controlled volley from Steven Defour's corner levelled the game.

The second half started evenly but the visitors paid for their lack of urgency in the 75th minute as substitute Frank Acheampong skipped past Kieran Trippier with ease before crossing for Okaka to sweep home the winner.

It was the Italian's sixth goal in as many games.

Irish Independent

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