Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]
Champions Youth League 2019-20, Group B
Olympiacos Training Centre, Piraeus, Athens
Wednesday 18th September 2019, 3pm
OLYMPIACOS v SPURS
(White/Red) (All Blue)
Olympiacos:– Tzolakis; Ntoumanis, Gkotzamanidis, Belic, Martinis, Neofytidis, Nikolis(Liatsos 67), Fekkas(Aslanidis 78), Sourlis(Syrmis 78), Katsavakis(Arsenidis 46), Voilis(C)(Bullari 64)
Unused Subs:– Stournaras, Tsavos
Scorer:– Fekkas 31
Booked:– Sourlis73 (Foul on Markanday), Liatsos 90+2 (Foul on Markanday)
Coach:– Ricardo Peres
Spurs:– Oluwayemi; Lyons-Foster, Binks, Eyoma, White, Bowden(C)(Lusala 71), Markanday, Maghoma, Richards, Clarke(Whittaker 89), Parrott
Unused Subs:– Kurylowicz, Asante, Etete, Matthew Craig, Robson
Booked:– Bowden 57 (Foul on Neofytidis)
Coach:– Ryan Mason
Referee:– Tihomir Pejin(CRO)
Assistants:– Marjan Tomas & Kruno Saric(CRO)
Fourth Official:– Evangelos Manouchos(GRE)
Spurs opened their campaign in a hot sunny Greece against Olympiacos. The game was to have been played at Atromitos FC's Peristeri stadium but had to be moved when BT decided to show the game live two hours later than originally scheduled. Last season Spurs beat Greek side PAOK 1-0 away in the play-off round having finished second behind Barcelona in their group.
While John McDermott was in charge, Spurs gave the coaching job to Ryan Mason for this tournament which uses a mix of U-18 and U-23 players unlike other European sides who have their own U-19 leagues. While the Olympiacos players had their own squad numbers Spurs used 1-18 as in pre-season tournaments unlike in the recent Leasing.com game against Ipswich when squad numbers were used.
Spurs lined up with Oluwayemi in goal behind Binks and Eyoma with Lyons-Foster at right back and White on the left. Bowden anchored the midfield with Maghoma and Richards ahead of him. They were flanked by Markanday on the right and Clarke on the left in support of Parrott up front. The whole bench was made up of players from Saturday's U-18 side.
Spurs defended the North end in the first half which started fairly cagey in the heat with Maghoma having an early effort wide from a lay-off by Clarke. Spurs took the lead when Richards played Parrott in on the right side of the area. That seemed to wake up the home side who began to push for the equaliser.
Voilis drew a save from Oluwayemi and Katsavakis fired over from a corner. Sourlis was the next to try his luck shooting wide and Katsavakis saw his cross headed wide. Spurs weathered the storm and looked well in control when Eyoma messed up an attempted back-pass which was seized on by Voilis who played in Fekkas for the equaliser.
Clarke drew a save before being involved with the last chance of the half when he collected a crossfield pass from Markanday to play in Parrott but Tzolakis saved.
Olympiacos made a change for the start of the second half and the sub made the first chance when he fired over. Bowden was the first player booked for a foul on Neofytidis. Nikolis fired over when played in by Katsavakis before goalmouth action at the other end saw Markanday and then Clarke have attempts before Bowden drove wide.
The hosts made another two changes before Spurs made their first with Bowden going off and Lusala coming on at left back to allow White to anchor the midfield as happened last week in the U-23 game against Southampton. The captain's armband went to Eyoma. As the pace slowed in the heat, Markanday began to beat his markers which saw Sourlis booked.
Olympiacos made their last two changes(teams can make five) in an attempt to win the game. They went close when Bullari hit the bar. Spurs made a second change replacing Clarke with Whittaker on the left. Laitsos went into the ref's book for a foul on Markanday in added time as the game finished all square.
This was a good start by Spurs who who handled the game well in the heat and begin with an away point. Bayern Munich and Red Star Belgrade also drew 0-0 so all four teams in the group have a point. Spurs will entertain Munich in their next group game to be played at Hotspur Way on the 1st October. Without the oppressive heat it should be a much more lively affair.
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