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UEFA Europa League
August 21, 2014
• 12:00 PM
• Stadio Antonis Papadopoulos, Lárnaka (Larnaca)
Referee: Manuel Jorge Neves Moreira de Sousa
• Attendance: 7200
Adrián Sardinero 14'
H. Kane 80'
The introduction of Erik Lamela proved to be the turning point, with the former Roma attacking midfielder laying on two assists for his teammates. AEL defended well for large periods, but couldn't keep Spurs out until full-time. That's all we have time for from Larnaca, I've been Simon Harrison and I hope to see you again next time.
FULL TIME! Spurs complete a second-half comeback to take victory in Cyprus, courtesy of late goals from Harry Kane and Roberto Soldado. Pochettino's men were given a scare by Adrian Sardinero's opener, but kept their composure to turn things around.
90' + 2'
Petev's men are rapidly running out of time, with two away goals needed to turn things around on their trip to England.
We're into the dying embers of this contest now, but AEL break upfield. A long-range strike looks to test Lloris, but the Frenchman is more than equal to it. That's the best that the Cypriot champions have mustered in the second half. We're into three minutes of stoppage time.
The dangerman Lamela is picked out once again, by Chadli, but fires narrowly wide of the target. Moments later, the Argentine manages to carve an opportunity for himself, but fires too close to the goalkeeper!
Yellow Card Ben Davies
Another Carlitos, this time a forward rather than AEL's right-back comes into the fray - but it feels like something of a lost cause. The hosts tried to sit back and protect what would have been an excellent result, but the introduction of Lamela has scythed them apart. Davies gives away a free-kick in a dangerous area, but Lloris claims well.
Lamela's two assists have put Spurs into cruise control, with it now a matter of seeing the game out. That said, if the English side were to concede again now, Pochettino probably wouldn't be too concerned. Drawing away from home isn't a bad result at all.
We're into the final ten minutes and AEL have it all to do now! Spurs have two away goals, leaving them in a very commanding position for the home leg at White Hart Lane. Despite being quiet since the break, Kane and Soldado have struck twice in six minutes!
Assist Roberto Soldado
Goal Harry Kane
GOOOOOOAL! KANE GRABS THE SECOND! The Englishman completes the turnaround in Cyprus! It was coming, but Spurs are ahead for the first time tonight! Lamela provides another assist, before Kane steps inside his man and finishes emphatically! AEL 1-2 Spurs!
Spurs are turning the screw somewhat, with the hosts only able to hoof their clearances as long as possible in a bid to break from the siege. Pochettino's substitutions have worked to a degree, with the away side looking far more in control now.
Under 15 minutes remains, but Spurs have their away goal! Despite being subdued throughout large periods of this contest, Soldado shows his poaching instincts to finish vitally for Pochettino's side. How AEL will react to being pegged back remains to be seen.
Assist Erik Lamela
Goal Roberto Soldado
GOOOOOOOAL! SOLDADO FINDS THE EQUALISER! Moments after Lamela takes to the field, Spurs hit back! Kane finds the substitute, who clips a pass into the path of the former Valencia striker, allowing for the Spaniard to smash home a smart finish!
Tagbujami replaces Gikiewicz up top for the home side, with the Polish striker not offering anything for very large periods of this game. He hasn't been the focal point that they would have hoped for.
In defiance of their aforementioned anonymity, Soldado and Kane combine to great effect! The Spaniard provides a knock-down for his strike partner, but Kane's shot is parried onto the underside of the crossbar by Fegrouche.
Narrowly over 20 minutes remains for Spurs to fight their way back into the game, but AEL are looking fairly comfortable when sat deep. Soldado and Kane have been very quiet indeed since the interval.
Two changes occur, one for either side. The cautioned Holtby is withdrawn for Dembele, who should add some more drive to midfield. The lively Diego Barcelos is withdrawn for Cypriot midfielder Eleftheriou.
Chadli is found deep in enemy territory, but can't writhe away from two defenders to carve open some space for a shot. The Belgian is robbed of the ball, before AEL hoof clear.
Townsend is felled by a physical challenge, which leaves the Englishman clutching his face. He's fine to continue and celebrates this fact by needlessly giving away the ball once again. He's not having a very inventive evening thus far.
Half an hour remains for Spurs to get back into the game, with an away goal looking to be somewhat beyond the English side at the moment. Netting one would make life all the more difficult for AEL visiting White Hart Lane.
Chadli takes to the field, with the Belgian winger needing to provide some inspiration sooner rather than later. Known for his flash in the pan moments of brilliance to find the back of the net, Pochettino may have called on the right man to equalise out of the blue.
Yellow Card Roberto Soldado
Soldado now joins Holtby in the referee's book, as Guidileye is in the wars once again. Pochettino appears to be looking to his bench already, with Chadli warming up intensively.
It has been ten minutes since the restart and Spurs are yet to test the goalkeeper. AEL are looking far more threatening on the break, but the away side are starting to dominate slightly more in terms of retaining the ball.
Townsend breaks down the right and managed to win a Spurs corner on this occasion - but it comes to nothing. AEL continue to defend staunchly, but as it stands Pochettino will still be confident of turning the aggregate deficit around at White Hart Lane.
Carlitos breaks down the right-hand side at real pace, before taking the ball in his stride and unleashing a powerful effort. It zips off the turf and into the side netting, but Lloris had his angles covered.
Davies pounces on the loose ball after a Spurs corner is cleared, before whipped in a second cross. Kane is picked out, but the English striker can't hit the target once again.
Townsend breaks down the right-hand side yet again, but is mobbed by two players and Nikolaou ensures that the England international goes no further.
AEL have a half chance immediately, with Diego Barcellos seeing a close-range effort deflected behind for a corner. It's whipped in towards the back post, but headed way over.
We are back underway in the first leg of this Europa League play-off game! Despite being 1-0 down, Pochettino will feel that a good performance at White Hart Lane can see his side through, but an away goal would be mightily useful.
Plenty of improvement is required from Pochettino's men, with Townsend in particular being rather wasteful with possession down the right-hand side. For the most part, Spurs have seen more of the ball, but AEL possess the pace to break effectively. Be sure to rejoin us in ten minutes for all of the second half action!
HALF TIME! Spurs are trailing at the break in Cyprus, courtesy of a very well taken goal by Adrian Sardinero, who broke from midfield to slide a composed finish beyond Lloris. Kane has had the majority of the away side's chances, but is yet to really trouble the goalkeeper.
Diego bursts through the centre of the midfield once again, utilising his pace, but Vertonghen makes an important block to stop the Brazilian in his tracks. Spurs are certainly being exposed at times on the break by Petev's counter-attacking personnel.
Spurs win a free-kick on the right-hand side due to the overlapping Naughton being brought to the ground, giving the visitors a chance to load the box. Holtby takes, but the home side are able to clear their lines yet again. Pochettino's men haven't been able to penetrate too often.
The stop-start nature of the last few minutes continues, as Cadu is booked for a challenge on Soldado. Play is becoming a little bit more fractured, with a few players guilty of losing the ball cheaply in midfield.
Yellow Card Cadu
Possession continues to be traded in quite an end-to-end game, but AEL are definitely the happier side to sit deep. Petev's side are best suited to breaking and hurting Spurs while they are exposed, after all. Under ten minutes remains of the first half.
Yellow Card Lewis Holtby
Holtby picks up the first yellow card of the evening, as Spurs continue to not really have it their own way in the opening half an hour. AEL are making life difficult, with pace to hurt Pochettino's high line on the break.
Kane forces Fegrouche into yet another save, but still AEL's shot-stopper has the answers. The hosts break upfield quickly, with Sardinero bursting into the penalty area at real pace, but Lloris is characteristically quick off his line to smother.
Kane manages to wriggle away from two defenders with a clever dummy, but his eventual shot is fairly easy for the goalkeeper to deal with. He's looking lively thus far, but is yet to find his goalscoring touch.
Soldado and Kane combine once again, with the latter being fed down the left-hand channel this time. Kane tries to pick out Townsend at the back post, but his cross is easily blocked and cleared. Moments later, a long-range shot from the same man is tame enough for Fegrouche to smother.
Diego whips in a cross from the right-hand side once again, but Lloris is quick off his line to claim ahead of Gikiewicz. The home side are causing plenty of problems with their busy attacking midfield runners at the moment.
Townsend clips a dangerous cross into the penalty area after cutting in from the right, aiming for Kane. The Englishman rises well, but can't quite make enough contact to divert the ball into the far corner.
Naughton is robbed of possession at right-back, before Luciano Bebe drives infield and releases Sardinero on the right flank. The Spaniard whips in a devilish ball to the back post, but Gikiewicz fouls Dier as he attempts to head the cross home!
AEL win a free-kick on the edge of the opposition penalty area, as Townsend is penalised for a high foot on Guidileye. Luciano tries to dip an effort over the wall from 20 yards, but it deflects behind for a corner.
Good play from Spurs! Davies drives upfield before switching possession inside, finding the feet of Kane. He twists sharply, losing his man, before sidefooting a pass to Soldado - who flicks the ball out to Townsend in turn. The England international tries to pull the trigger, but is closed down too quickly.
Soldado holds the ball up well, before finding Davies in space on the left-hand side. The Welshman tries to whip in a cross to the near post, but it isn't weighted properly and the home side clear with ease. The tempo is really stepping up here now.
Townsend and Soldado combine well on the edge of the area, before the latter finds Holtby rushing on from midfield. The Germany international's first touch is too ambitious and Cadu is able to shield the ball back to his goalkeeper.
The hosts have got their tails up now, but Spurs break upfield again. Soldado tries to weasel his way past two challenges, but isn't afforded time to shoot - allowing for Fegrouche to claim.
Goal Adrián Sardinero
GOOOOOAL! SARDINERO GIVES AEL THE LEAD! The Spaniard breaks through the heart of the midfield and bursts into the box, before firing beyond Lloris! The home supporters go wild! Limassol 1-0 Spurs!
Kane ambitiously tries his luck with his sidefoot from range, but the Englishman can't quite control his effort. Chances have come from both sides now, in a close contest.
AEL manage to rally themselves and look to challenge the visitors, with a couple of dangerous crosses whipped in from the left-hand side. Spurs deal with it easily, but it's a sign of intent from the Cypriot champions.
Sardinero is able to break down the flank and turn in a delivery, with Davies losing his man. Gikiwicz makes contact, but it isn't telling enough to beat Lloris.
Paulinho is presented with some space to shoot at the edge of the box after linking up smartly with Holtby, but the Brazil international is unable to hit the target. It's a fairly poor strike, as the former Corinthians man drags his effort well wide.
Big chance for Spurs, as Kane is involved yet again! The English striker tests the goalkeeper once again, but Soldado isn't able to fire home the rebound! Early pressure is from Pochettino's men.
Townsend whips in a cross from the right-hand side, looking for Kane, but the Englishman can't quite find a finishing touch. Fegrouche gathers up the loose ball.
Spurs settle down on the ball and look to compose themselves with some possession, but neither side is prepared to try and force the first goal. AEL will be very reluctant to open up and concede an away goal.
We are underway in the first half!
We have ten minutes remaining until kick-off, so be sure to stick around for all of the action as Pochettino's side look to continue their good form with a victory away from home. Just a goal on the road would stand Spurs in good stead for the return leg, but a solid win would definitely settle any nerves.
Spurs substitutes: Friedel, Rose, Lamela, Dawson, Dembele, Chadli, Sandro.
Spurs starting line-up: Lloris; Naughton, Dier, Vertonghen, Davies; Holtby, Bentaleb, Paulinho; Kane, Soldado, Townsend.
AEL substitutes: Stavrou, Carlitos, Eleftheriou, Espana, Nadeau, Tagbajumi, Pulpo.
AEL starting line-up: Fegrouche; Soares Tavares, Sielis, Cadu, Edmar; Guidileye, Nikolaou; Adrian, Diego, Bebe; Gikiewicz.
TEAM NEWS: Kyle Naughton remains in the starting line-up despite his red card on the opening day of the league season, presumably to keep the Englishman match-fit. Debut goalscorer Eric Dier slots in centre-back, with Ben Davies preferred to Danny Rose. Paulinho and Lewis Holtby make up a midfield three with Nabil Bentaleb, while Harry Kane and Andros Townsend provide the ammunition for the seemingly lone striker of Roberto Soldado.
TEAM NEWS: Gikiewicz will be the lone striker for the hosts, with a supporting trio of Bebe, Diego and Adrian. There stands to be a system clash, with AEL fielding what looks to be a 4-2-3-1 formation, with Guidileye and Nikolaou slotting into holding midfield. Unfortunately for the Cypriot side, they lost top goalscorers Sa and Monteiro during the summer.
I'm Simon Harrison and I will be keeping you up to date with all of the action from Cyprus, as Pochettino's men look to stay in with a chance of qualifying for this season's Europa League group stages. Spurs have some competitive action under their belt already, but AEL's new campaign doesn't get underway for a few more days yet. Currently their nation's reigning champions, Limassol aren't going to take any kind of loss lying down.
Hello and welcome to live coverage of Tottenham Hotspur's Europa League play-off fixture against Cypriot top flight side AEL Limassol. Mauricio Pochettino's men will battle out the first leg of this tie in Lanarca, before heading back to White Hart Lane to finish the job in a week's time. Some rotation has taken place from the opening weekend of the Premier League, but the English side have named a strong line-up nonetheless.
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