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24 July 2014
• BMO Field, Toronto, Ontario
That's all we have time for from Canada, as Tottenham defeat Toronto 3-2, with Lamela grabbing the headlines with two first-half goals. No injuries for either side, however, was perhaps the most important development. I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you all again next time.
A game of two halves for Spurs, whose stronger first half eleven was solid and potent offensively, but their second half side fell apart at the seams at times. Nelsen's men only improved as the game went on and will perhaps feel aggrieved that they couldn't close out a well-earned draw.
FULL TIME! Spurs win 3-2 at the BMO Field, despite Toronto recovering from two goals down and pushing Pochettino's side to the wire! A late Townsend winner gives the Lilywhites victory, despite goals from Wiedeman and 18-year-old Hamilton giving the hosts some late hope.
Hamilton receives possession at the edge of the box, but his attempted bounce pass off Wiedeman bobbles into the path of Rose. The left-back's first touch takes him beyond the 18-year-old goalscorer, who unceremoniously lunges in and leaves the former Sunderland loanee flat out on the turf.
Lovitz and Wiedeman combine well once again, but Walker is able to rob the former of the ball as he threatened to deliver another testing cross! Toronto aren't disheartened by conceding and appear to hold belief that this game still has some goals on offer.
GOOOOOOAL! TOWNSEND FIRES INTO THE BOTTOM RIGHT CORNER! Holtby is the man to feed his teammate, who coolly brings the ball back onto right foot and mercilessly blasts beyond Roberts! A mistake for Toronto lead to the German midfielder being gifted possession, but Spurs won't mind, they lead 3-2!
Five minutes remain, with the home crowd starting to believe that their side can nick a late winner against a shaky Spurs defence. Nelsen's rotated side have acquitted themselves brilliantly, able to break incisively and their fairly youthful striking partnership has provided plenty to be optimistic about.
Townsend tries his luck with a close-range first-time effort, but Roberts is easily able to smother an effort which is angled directly at him! Toronto break upfield quickly, but Fryers rises above Wiedeman to clear a cross behind for a corner for the hosts.
Ceballos cuts inside from the right, before trying to curl a delicate effort inside the far post! Hagglund slides in well to make an important block, as Toronto looked to fall apart for a brief moment.
Morgan breaks down the left before finding Wiedeman, but the striker can only take a poor touch which bobbles towards his strike partner. Hamilton also fails to take the loose ball in his stride, with possession bobbling out of play for a goal-kick disappointingly.
Holtby picks another good pass to find Ceballos at the byline, but the Spaniard is penalised for being offside once again. It's not quite clicked for Spurs going forward in the second half, but Holtby continues to be the catalyst in this weakened eleven.
SIDE NETTING FOR WALKER! The England international breaks down the right-hand side, using his pace to get beyond Hagglund but can only cannon an effort wide of the near post! A few spectators in the crowd thought that was in!
Ceballos hacks down De Rosario with a late lunge, but escapes the first booking of the game. If that had been in a competitive fixture, the 21-year-old would surely have found himself in the referee's notebook. Fortunately, the Toronto captain isn't hurt.
With a quarter of an hour left on the clock, Spurs are at risk of throwing away a two-goal lead and succumbing to unlikely defeat against Toronto. The away side press forward from kick-off, but the bigger problems are at the base of this Tottenham eleven. Defensively, they've been awful since the interval.
GOOOOOOOOAL! TORONTO LEVEL THROUGH HAMILTON! The young striker, merely 18-year-old, receives a good pass from Wiedeman and squeezes a low finish under the desperate grasp of Friedel! He had plenty to do there, but did brilliantly!
Spurs try to settle things down and calm the tempo somewhat, as Toronto continue to motor through the gears. Ceballos is afforded plenty of space from 25 yards, but the Spaniard can only curl a long-range strike narrowly over the crossbar!
OSORIO TRIES HIS LUCK! The Canadian midfielder lets fly from the edge of the box after another excellent Toronto break, but can only direct his end product directly at Friedel! The goalkeeper breathes a sigh of relief, his defence just parted in front of him there!
Holtby whips a cross in towards Ceballos at the back post, but the former Barcelona youngster can't quite stretch to poke the ball home! The former Fulham loanee continues to be Spurs' main source of creativity, with the likes of Townsend and Kane not contributing hugely to build-up play thus far.
Morgan tries an ambitious effort from 30 yards, but sends a half-volley curling embarrassingly high and wide of the target! Toronto are faring far better against a less cohesive and much-changed Spurs eleven. If Tottenham lose out in midfield, the hosts certainly have the tools to hurt Pochettino's men on the break.
GOOOOOAL! WIEDEMAN PULLS ONE BACK! The American forward is poked through on goal, courtesy of a well-weighted pass from Lovitz and slides home a good finish! Dawson and Fryers were left exposed there and Toronto took full advantage!
Fryers gets across well to slide in and dispossess Wiedeman as the substitute forward attempts to burst through the heart of the Spurs defence. After a shaky start, the Lilywhites are starting to grow into the second half.
Holtby looks to play Falque in behind the lines, but De Rosario uses his experience to stay strong and shepherd the ball behind for a goal-kick. The German-born midfielder has been Spurs' best performer of the half, being at the heart of anything positive for the away side.
Less than half an hour remains in this game, with both coaches thus far getting their wish of no injuries to key personnel. The hosts have started the second period excellently, breaking with pace and disrupting Spurs' rhythm. The best chances continue to fall to Pochettino's men, though.
BIG CHANCE FOR KANE! Possession is worked out to Rose on the left-hand side, before the left-back whips in a delicious and tantalising early ball! Kane stretches every sinew to get beyond Hagglund, but can only poke a finish inches wide of the far post! So close!
BEKKER GOES CLOSE! The midfielder drives forward into space on the edge of the penalty area, but drags his eventual shot wide of the target from 20 yards! It had Friedel worried, however, with the 43-year-old scrambling across to his left.
Holtby has another half chance, but Roberts is able to race off his line quickly to smother the ball, following Morgan being just about beaten by the former Schalke midfielder. He's been energetic and bright thus far, as he perhaps looks to justify Pochettino retaining his services, as opposed to arranging another loan deal.
Ten minutes have passed without much in the way of incident, though Toronto have seen much more of the ball that perhaps would have been predicted at the break. Lovitz is looking sharp down the left, but Walker has the pace to stick with his man.
Lovitz is found in plenty of space out on the left-hand side, but his cross is hurriedly hacked clear at the near post by Fryers. The home side still haven't managed to test Friedel, but there's an expectant buzz in the crowd at the start of this second period against a weakened Spurs line-up.
De Rosario stays strong in possession to fend off Holtby, as Pochettino's style of pressing football looks set to continue in this half. Toronto have looked fairly sharp out of the blocks, but Hamilton fails to stab a pass into the path of Wiedemann and the Canadian attack breaks down.
Ceballos looks bright from the start, as the former Barcelona youngster appears keen to prove himself to his new coach. He's joined further forward by Iago Falque, who netted three times in La Liga for Rayo Vallecano last season and Spurs youngster Harry Kane. Quite the culture clash in Pochettino's forward line.
Holtby forces an early save out of Roberts, low down to the goalkeeper's left-hand side. Spurs have made ten changes, meaning that the start of this half might just be a little bit fractured as the new personnel settle into the pace of the game.
Spurs second half line-up: Friedel, Walker, Fryers, Dawson, Rose, Holtby, Carroll, Ceballos, Townsend, Falque, Kane.
Toronto second half line-up: Roberts, Hall, Hagglund, Richter, Morgan, De Rosario, Osorio, Bekker, Lovitz, Hamilton, Wiedeman.
We are back underway in the second half, with both sides set to make plenty of changes to avoid any unnecessary and unwanted injuries! Spurs were dominant in the opening 45 minutes, with Pochettino presumably keen for his men to remain on the front foot after the interval.
Spurs have looked bright going forward, with two assists from Soldado wrapping up an encouraging half from the visitors' less memorable performers from last season. Lennon and Lamela have been a handful in between the lines, as Toronto continue to look rather frail at the back. Be sure to rejoin us for all of the second half action in ten minutes time!
HALF TIME! Spurs make their way to the dressing room with a two-goal lead, with Erik Lamela netting both for the travelling Lilywhites. Not picking up any injuries continues to be the priority for Toronto, but they've shown in fleeting glimpses what they offer on the break.
45' + 1'
Gilberto is felled in an advanced position on the left-hand side to win a free-kick, but Soldado performs his defensive duty well and clears behind for a corner from right in front of Brad Friedel. Spurs manage to deal with the set piece and that should be that!
A few minutes remain, with Toronto's personnel not looking to get involved in any hard tackles or overstretch in a manner which would threaten their fitness. Plenty of important games surround this one for the Canadian outfit, so it would make sense! Hall goes down in the penalty box, claiming a tug on his shirt, but the referee isn't interested.
Spurs are relentless, continuing to grab the game by the scruff of the neck and forcing Toronto to be submissive. The combination of Lennon, Lamela and Soldado has been impressive thus far and that certainly isn't something that was common last season!
GOOOOOOOAL! LAMELA AT THE DOUBLE! The Argentine is picked out by Soldado once again, before driving down the left and blasting a clinical finish across a helpless Konopka! Spurs lead 2-0!
Naughton delivers an early cross from the right flank, which is only half-cleared by Orr. Mason meets the rebound, but blazes a first-time half-volley into the stands. Nelsen doesn't look too happy with his central defenders' contributions thus far.
Friedel's distribution continues to be good, picking out his advanced full-backs or retreating wingers consistently. Lennon cuts in from the left-hand side once again, but shoots off-balance and sees his effort deflected behind for a corner.
Soldado tries to race in behind the Toronto back four, but is muscled off the ball by Morgan and Konopka is able to hurriedly clear. Only ten minutes remain in the first half, but the intensity continue to be fairly competitive, despite the fact there are no points to play for.
Davies breaks down the left and combines with Lennon once again, with the Englishman sliding a pass back into the path of Eriksen. The former Ajax midfielder is always leaning back, however, resulting in his attempted long-range strike ballooning high into the stands.
Only a quarter of an hour remains in the first half, with Pochettino presumably happy with what his eleven have shown thus far. Spurs are moving the ball around fairly well, with the deep-lying Eriksen starting to see a little bit more of possession. Toronto are capable of breaking incisively, however.
Eriksen tries to flick a clever through ball towards goal for Soldado to chase, but the Dane's pass is intercepted smartly. Spurs are looking dangerous going forward, with Lamela in particular looking to have that bit of flair capable to tearing the opposition defence apart.
Hall flicks a long Friedel clearance out of play for a throw-in, which Soldado hurries over to take quickly - only to be met by the referee gesturing for a Toronto throw. The Spaniard affords a smile, but that looked like a bizarre decision from our match official!
Lamela is brought down by Hall on the edge of the penalty area, but the referee sees the challenge as merely an innocuous coming together. Spurs continue to stay on top, but a Davies cross is headed clear by Orr.
Gilberto sends a looping back post header towards goal from a corner delivery, but Friedel is alert to race off his line and punch the danger clear. No chances are being taken by the former USA international shot-stopper.
Pochettino's men continue to see the lion's share of possession in front of a reasonable attendance at the BMO Field. Oduro and Defoe have looked to be the bright sparks for Toronto, but thus far haven't been able to ask too many questions of Brad Friedel.
Toronto aren't to be drawn out of their shape and try some gung-ho football to get back on level terms, testament perhaps to having a former central defender as their current head coach. Spurs poke and probe with steady possession, with the tempo settling down somewhat.
Defoe is nearly found by an ambitious lofted through ball, as the Englishman is almost picked out by his strike partner Gilberto. Friedel is quick off his line to smother, before his former teammate can even think about his attempted finish.
Spurs have managed to turn their dominance into an early lead, though Konopka has bizarrely not had a save to make. Defoe continues to look quiet for the Canadian outfit, but the experienced striker needs merely a half-chance to convert.
GOOOOOOOOAL! SPURS TAKE THE LEAD THROUGH LAMELA! The Argentine is found on the left-hand side after a quick break, before cutting inside and dispatching a finish across Konopka!
HALF CHANCE FOR LAMELA! The former Roma man is flitting in between the lines excellently, but can only fire wide of the near post under some pressure. Lennon and the Argentine cutting in from wide areas is causing Toronto plenty of issues.
Defoe manages to slide Oduro in behind the Spurs' defensive line, but the Ghanaian forward is caught slightly offside. He looked to have the beating of Davies anyhow, but his gamble of gaining an extra yard was spotted by the linesman. Poor timing, as he'd have been in the clear there.
Both sides are happy to take their time on the ball, but Toronto's Bradley Orr eventually tries to feed Defoe in behind with a long pass. Kaboul rises highest to head away, handing possession back to Spurs. A competitive start to this game at BMO Field!
LENNON GOES CLOSE! The tricky winger earns himself a yard of space deep in the Toronto penalty area, after receiving possession from the bright Lamela, but can only curl an effort narrowly wide of the far post with Konopka glued to the spot.
Toronto enjoy a crisp passing spell, with Bekker at the heart of things in midfield due to the absence of Michael Bradley. Momentum is swinging back and forth, though the hosts' pairing of Gilberto and Defoe hasn't seen much service yet whatsoever.
Lamela plays a neat one-two with Soldado, before trying to feed a cute ball through for the chasing Mason, but the 23-year-old can't quite take the pass in his stride and the hosts clear. Capoue sniffs out the Toronto break incisively.
Davies has started brightly on his debut, marauding down the left flank from the very off. The former Swansea full-back clearly is keen to repay the faith held in him by coach Pochettino, attacking the likes of Bekker and Morgan positively.
Spurs win a couple of early corners, the second of which results in an ambitious effort from Roberto Soldado looping over the crossbar. The Premier League side are looking to force the issue early on, with the fluid trio of Eriksen, Lennon and Lamela looking to cause a few problems for Toronto.
It's a high intensity start to the game, with both elevens keen to press and force the opposition back to their respective goalkeeper. Spurs will look to see more of the ball, but given Toronto's excellent MLS form, this won't be an easy game for a heavily-rotated Tottenham side.
We're underway in the first half at BMO Field, as Toronto and Tottenham face each other in something of a Jermain Defoe derby, if you will. Nothing is at stake except for pride, but plenty of individuals will want to show their respective coaches that they are deserving of a first-team spot for future competitive clashes.
To give something of a background on Spurs' two more inexperienced inclusions, Milos Veljkovic and Ryan Mason haven't managed more than two first-team appearances between them. The Serbian U19 international won the UEFA European Championship for his age group last year, while Mason enjoyed a season on loan at League One outfit Swindon Town, netting five goals in 18 midfield showings. Veljkovic, however, did enter the first-team fray against both Sunderland and Aston Villa in the Premier League last campaign.
There are ten minutes until kick-off, with Spurs hoping to enjoy an accomplished performance against an understrength Toronto outfit. Michael Bradley and Julio Cesar aren't available for Nelsen's men, meaning that there is something of a lack of quality in key areas. Pochettino has a mixture of options at his disposal, but a blend of youth and experience should make for an entertaining match, so be sure to stick around!
Spurs substitutes: McGee, Fredericks, Walker, Rose, Dawson, Fryers, Falque, Carroll, Ceballos, Townsend, Holtby, Kane.
Spurs starting line-up: Friedel, Naughton, Kaboul, Veljkovic, Davies, Capoue, Mason, Lamela, Eriksen, Lennon, Soldado.
Toronto substitutes: Roberts, Hagglund, Richter, De Rosario, Osorio, Hamilton, Wiedeman.
Toronto starting line-up: Konopka, Hall, Orr, Henry, Morgan, Oduro, Warner, Bekker, Lovitz, Gilberto, Defoe.
TEAM NEWS: American goalkeeper Brad Friedel is given a start once again, with 18-year-old Milos Veljkovic partnering Younes Kaboul in the centre of defence. Ben Davies gets his debut at left-back, following his transfer from Swansea City earlier today. Former Swindon loanee Ryan Mason slots into midfield, with forgotten men Erik Lamela and Roberto Soldado deployed in attack. Christian Eriksen will look to be Pochettino's men creative outlet.
TEAM NEWS: Jermain Defoe starts up front for Toronto, facing his former club after a recent move away from England to extend his career. Having left as Spurs' top goalscorer in European competitions, the 31-year-old certainly won't be forgotten by the Spurs faithful in a hurry! Michael Bradley isn't included for the hosts, while English full-back Bradley Orr starts on the right-hand side of defence. Luke Moore and Stephen Caldwell will not feature.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be leading you through all of the action at the BMO Field in Toronto, as the hosts look to move on from a 2-2 draw against Houston Dynamo four days ago. Jermain Defoe starts for Ryan Nelsen's men, merely months after making the switch from White Hart Lane to the MLS. There's plenty of room for sentiment, but both coaches will instead be looking for a team performance to match the occasion.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Tottenham Hotspur's pre-season friendly against Toronto, with Mauricio Pochettino preparing his Premier League side for another strenous campaign in the coming month. Following a 3-3 draw with the Seattle Sounders less than a week ago, the Argentine coach will presumably be hoping for victory tonight, in order to gain some momentum during their lengthy foreign tour of the United States of America and Canada.
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