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IMG Tournament Day One, 14.12.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

Spurs have sent a squad to Florida this week to complete in the IMG Cup. Spurs Youth afficionado Ray Lo has followed them, and will report on the team's progress once again.

Spurs are in Group one with the US National U-17s, Baltimore Armour 18DA and the RVG Academy. The other group has Deportivo Toluca from Mexico, Black Rock, IMG U-18 and FC Florida Prep Academy. The winners of the groups will play each other on the final day while second will meet second for third place and so on down to last place.

Spurs' opening game was against the RVG Academy on Wednesday kicking off at 1.45pm local time. Their second game is on Thursday against Baltimore Armour at 3pm. The last game against the US National U-18 side will be on Saturday in the IMG Stadium at 7.30pm. Games in the stadium are shown live on local cable TV.

The first year we were there, games were shown by Spurs TV on the Internet. The placement games will be played on Sunday with the 7/8th place game at 11.30am, followed by the 5/6th place game at 1.15pm. The Final is next at 5.30pm and then the 3/4th place game at 7.30pm. As Spurs were in the Final in the previous three years it would be disappointing if they failed to make it this time. Most likely opponents would be Toluca who they beat 2-0 in a group match the first year Spurs played here.

Here is Ray's first day report:-

IMG Cup 2016, Super Group
Wednesday 14th December 2016, 1.45pm

Tottenham Hotspur 7(5) 0(0) Rio Grand Valley FC Academy

Spurs(4-1-4-1)(White/Blue): Austin; Lock, Eyoma(Tanganga 56), Dinzeyi(Brown 56), Tsaroulla(Hinds 41); Marsh(C)(Omolabi 41); Shashoua(Bennetts 56), Roles(Duncan 62), Reynolds, Gonzalez; Griffiths(Sterling 67)

Unused Subs: De Bie; Oakley-Boothe

Scorers: Rubio (o.g.) 9, Roles 13, 31, 33, Tsaroulla 38, Bennetts 64, Gonzalez pen.73

RGV(4-2-3-1) (Orange/White): Pena; Bianco, F. Diaz, Medellin, A. Diaz, Coronado; Mendez(Cisneros 63), Morales(C); Adame(Flores 75), Villasana(Martinez 31), Garza(Ramirez 31); Rubio

Unused Subs: Garcia

It was an interesting game as the three officials were all female and the coach of the Rio Grand side, Rafael Amaya, said he had played alongside our manager Mauricio Pochettino at Newlls Old Boys in Argentina. It was a hot sunny afternoon for Spurs' opening game in Group one. Their opponents were from the Rio Grand in south Texas.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Eyoma and Dinzeyi with Lock at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Marsh anchored the midfield with Roles and Reynolds ahead of him flanked by Shashoua on the right and Gonzalez on the left in support of Griffiths up front.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half of 40 minutes but were soon on the attack with a free kick by Shashoua bringing a save from Pena. Five minutes later Shashoua got down the right and whipped in a vicious cross that was turned in by a defender. Rio Grand were not able to stop Spurs getting down the flanks and Shashoua crossed again from the right for Roles to score. Dinzeyi, who was up for a free kick, had his header saved. Griffith got through but Pena pushed his effort onto the post and out for a corner. From the corner Dinzeyi saw his header blocked.

Roles got his second and Spurs' third, running onto a good through ball by Lock to finish well. It took only another two minutes for him to complete his hat trick which was again thanks to a cross by Shashoua. Tsaroulla then got in on the act with a good run down the left, cutting inside and into the area before finishing low into the far corner. The last chance of the half fell to Reynolds who drew a save when played in by Lock.

With the game safe, Spurs made a double change for the start of the second half. Hinds replaced Tsaroulla at left back and Omolabi took over from Marsh in midfield.

Rio Grand made a good start to the half with Garza drawing a save for a corner from which Mendez headed over. A Spurs corner saw Dinzeyi head wide before Griffiths run onto a through ball to fire home only to be flagged off side. Austin saved from Morales and Medellin before Spurs got back on top as Shashoua forced Pena to save.

Spurs made more changes with Bennetts replacing Shashoua and Brown and Tanganga took over defensive duties from Eyoma and Dinzeyi. Bennetts had a chance straight away when he had a header from Lock's cross. Duncan came on for Roles and had a hand in the next goal by playing Bennetts in at the far post. Bennetts beat the keeper at his near post.

Spurs' last change saw Sterling replace Griffiths up front. Rio Grand almost scored when Hinds cleared an effort by Adame off the line before Bennetts was fouled in the opposition area to win a penalty. Gonzalez stepped up to score to the keeper's left. Omolabi played in Sterling to draw a save with the last chance of the match.

Spurs are now in the driving seat with the seven goal win. In the other group match the US U-17 side beat Baltimore Armour 2-1 in a close game with both sides having chances to increase the goals. Spurs take on Baltimore Armour tomorrow in a game between a club sponsored by Under Armour and on that has them as a shirt sponsor. In the other group Toluca beat IMG 3-0.

Ray

Ray Lo's Day Two report
Ray Lo's Day Four report
Ray Lo's IMG Final report

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