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IMG Tournament Day Two, 15.12.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

IMG Cup 2016, Super Group
Thursday 15th December 2016, 3pm
Tottenham Hotspur 2(1) 0(0) Baltimore Armour

Spurs(4-1-4-1)(All Yellow): De Bie; Hinds, Tanganga(Eyoma 71), Dinzeyi, Brown(Tsaroulla 68); Marsh(C); Shashoua(Roles 63), Omolabi, D. Duncan(Oakley-Boothe 63), Bennetts(Gonzalez 71); Sterling(Griffiths 71)

Unused Subs: Austin; Lock, Reynolds

Scorers: Sterling 39, Roles 80

Sent Off: Marsh 51(Retaliation)

Baltimore(4-4-2) (All White): Janda; Flanagan, Dengler(C), Rodriguez, Steiner(Molina 71); Denison, Nichols(Alexander 58), Clarke, Walker; D-M Duncan(Williams 59), O'Connor

Unused Subs: Tsaousis; Calhoun, Cruz, Flynn, Friedlander, Hood, Osei-Wusu, Raphael

Sent Off: Clarke 51(Striking an opponent)

It was a hot afternoon for the second group match which saw players and coaches getting hot under the collar as well. I was given an insight to the American style of coaching. As in previous years Spurs had to come to terms with this style of play and not be provoked into losing concentration.

Spurs lined up with De Bie in goal behind Tanganga and Dinzeyi with Hinds at right back and Brown on the left. Marsh anchored the midfield with Omolabi and Duncan ahead of him flanked by Shashoua on the right and Bennetts on the left in support of Sterling up front.

Spurs kicked off the first half attacking the North end in a highly contested game that saw little flowing football as both sides battled it out in the middle of the pitch. Spurs tried to play their passing game but Armour players were quick to close them down and go for the ball. They did not hold back as they are coached to get a tackle in even if badly positioned. Spurs found it hard to counter as they expect players to wait for the best time to make the tackle giving then time to pass or move.

Nichols had the first chance for Baltimore, firing wide after turning the ball over. D-M Duncan headed wide from a corner before Shashoua had a shot blocked when Sterling squared the ball to him. Nichols fire wide having been played in by O'Connor. Bennetts headed wide from a cross by Shashoua.

With a minute to go before the break Spurs made the breakthrough when Sterling got to a near post ball to score. During the break I did query the officials about the Baltimore coach telling one of his players to foul a Spurs player who had evaded two challenges already and being told that it was common practice.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which was as tight as the first. De Bie saved from Clarke early before the midfielder made a bigger impact when he tried to get away from Marsh in the middle. The Spurs captain grabbed hold of him and the Baltimore player reacted by punching him. Marsh then grabbed him by the throat as other players gathered round which gave the referee the easy option of sending both players off. The original holding offence by Marsh would have only been a yellow.

With both teams reduced to ten it opened up the game and Spurs began to find space. D. Duncan fired over before both sides began to make changes. Tsaroulla replaced Brown at left back. Roles took over from Shashoua in a central midfield role while Oakley-Boothe replaced Duncan.

Roles' first job was to take a free kick won by Tsaroulla's run from deep. The kick was on target forcing the keeper to save. Williams drove wide before Sterling got through to win a corner from Janda's diving save. Another round of changes saw Eyoma replace Tanganga at the back. Gonzalez took over from Bennetts on the left and Griffiths went up front in place of Sterling.

Oakley-Boothe hit the crossbar before the ball was scrambled away for a corner. From the corner Roles played a one two with Gonzalez before flighting the ball over the keeper into the net from the edge of the area to make the match safe. Another Tsaroulla run set up Roles for a chance which he fired over just before the final whistle.

It was a tough game and Spurs are likely to face the same sort of game when they face the US U-17 side on Saturday. The US side beat RGV Academy 6-0 earlier today so both they and Spurs have six points each with Spurs having a two goal advantage going into that final group game. They will have to play without Marsh who does such a good job in front of the back four.

Ray

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

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