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IMG Tournament Final, 18.12.16
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

IMG Cup 2016, Super Group
Sunday 18th December 2016, 5.30pm
Tottenham Hotspur 2(1) 0(0) Deportivo Toluca

Spurs (4-1-4-1)(White/Blue): Austin(De Bie 78); Lock(Dinzeyi 78), Tanganga, Eyoma, Tsaroulla; Marsh(C); Gonzalez(Griffiths 41), Roles(Oakley-Boothe 67), Duncan, Brown(Reynolds 70); Sterling

Unused Subs: Hinds, Omolabi

Scorers: Brown 17, Sterling 64

Booked: Gonzalez 23(Foul),Roles 58(Foul), Griffiths 80(Foul)

Toluca(4-3-3)(All Red): Padilla; Ulises, Eduardo, Emisael, Rafael; Manuel(Ezequiel 41), Deigo, Arteaga; Alexander(Saul 70), Andres, Armando

Unused Subs: Pablo; Manue, Jesus, Alejandro, Ivan

Booked: Eduardo 45(Push), Alexander 50(Foul), Andres 61(Foul), Andres 68(Late), Armando 80+3(Foul) Sent Off: Andres 68(2 Yellows)

Spurs' victorious IMG Cup squad

The Final between the two best sides in the tournament should have been an example to the American hosts of how the game should be played but unfortunately it descended into a display of bad behaviour and intimidation. Stronger refereeing was needed to keep control of the match but the officials could not see everything that was happening and as the game was nearing the end I lost count of all the yellow cards that were shown.

Spurs lined up with Austin in goal behind Tanganga and Eyoma with Lock at right back and Tsaroulla on the left. Marsh returned from his one match ban to anchor the midfield. Ahead of him Roles and Duncan were flanked on the right by Gonzalez and due to injuries to Shashoua and Bennetts, full back Brown was on the left. Sterling started up front leading the line.

Spurs defended the South end in the first half but were soon on the attack with Gonzalez winning a corner from a save by the keeper after only a minute. Gonzalez provided the corner from which Sterling headed wide in the tenth minute. This prompted Toluca to begin taking strong measures to prevent the Spurs pass and move game. Spurs' pace was causing Toluca problems so they put their bodies on the line.

Spurs took the lead when Roles found Sterling in the area and as defenders closed on him he laid the ball off to Brown. His first effort was blocked but as the ball came back to him he drove it low into the far corner of the net. Sterling played in Roles for an effort that was saved. When Austin cleared the ball down the left Gonzalez was knocked to the ground to prevent him going for it. When he got to his feet he dived in on the Toluca player who had collected the ball on the half-way line to pick up a booking. Duncan drew a save before he was clattered and the rest of the half was littered with stoppages due to fouls.

Spurs replaced Gonzalez with Griffiths for the start of the second half and the striker drew applause from the crowd when he made a quick turn to lose his marker in the area. Brown fired wide and then he was shoved in the back by Eduardo who was booked. He was followed into the ref's book by Alexander who went through Sterling in the centre circle. Roles was then booked as he dished out his own form of justice.

Andres got his first yellow with a high foot on Sterling. Sterling was played through the middle to score Spurs' second which you would have hoped would calm the Mexicans down as the game was out of their reach. Roles had to be replaced as he was limping with Oakley-Boothe taking his place. Andres got his second booking for a late lunge at Austin following a free kick. Reynolds replaced Brown on the left and with a few minutes left De Bie came on for Austin and Dinzeyi replaced Lock.

Griffiths was booked for a push and Armando was booked in added time for a foul. I am sure another Toluca player was booked as well but with so much going on I could not identify the player.

Spurs won the IMG Cup by being the only side trying to play football and made it the second time they have picked up the Cup in four visits. The other two years they were runners up. As Nike will become our new kit supplier this could be the last time they are invited to play for the Cup as it is sponsored by Under Armour.

Ray

Ray Lo's Day One report
Ray Lo's Day Two report
Ray Lo's Day Four report

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