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AEK Athens v Spurs, 12.08.01

"Spurs Odyssey" reporter Vassilis KolliasVassilis and friend sent this on the spot account, with some great pictures, of Spurs last, but unsuccessful friendly:-

AEK ATHENS 2 (2)
Chiotis, Georgeas, Kassapis (Karagiannis 89'), Kostenoglou, Rabresadratana (Petkov 60'), Ramos Ferousen, Zikos, Zagorakis (Anastasakos 87'), Lakis (Kapos 60'), Tsartas (Navas 76'), Konstantinidis (Kola 87').

TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR 1 (1)
Sullivan, Taricco, King (Thelwell 70'), Freund, Bunjencevic, Doherty (Perry 45'), Clemence, Ziege, Poyet (Davies 72'), Iversen (Ferdinand 45'), Rebrov.

Spurs say Hello to their fans in Greece

Ref: Mr. Papadakos

Scorers:
Iversen on the attack in Athens 6' Poyet
8' Tsartas
26' Ramos Ferousen

Minute by Minute:-

1' Cross from Iversen the header from Rebrov just out. The first good chance.
5' New cross by Rebrov from the right side, Iversen takes the header and Greek goalkeeper saves. Spurs win the corner.
6' Corner by Iversen, Poyet jumps higher from all the defence, his header finds the target. 0-1
8' AEK wins a free-kick out of the area. With a technical shoot by Vassilis Tsartas, the ball passes the human wall and the ball rested in the net. 1-1
25' Magnificent pass from Tsartas to Zagorakis in the middle of the area. King saves with a tackle. AEK win the corner.

Spurs defence under pressure in the evening heat

26' Ramos Ferousen takes a strong header, Sullivan blocks the ball back on the line. 2-1
28' Free-kick by Ziege with his left foot and the ball hits the bar.
29' Strong shot from Lakis from the penalty area, Sullivan saves.
56' Tsartas passes the ball on a fast break to Lakis who's closing in the centre of the area. His final bad shot breaks the whole attempt.
57' Tsartas in the centre sees Sullivan out of his area. Trying to hang the ball but just misses. Great inspiration.
60' Zagorakis makes a cruel strike to King and a small tempest between the players follows.
90' Georgeas penetrates from the right, in the right time makes the cross and the ball finds Navas in the middle of the defence and just 3 metres from Sullivan. His shot scrapes the post and Spurs avoid the third goal.

NOT the first choice back three this season!

The whole week Athens suffered from high temperatures and last night Spurs, in addition to the extremely hot weather (30 degrees at 21:00), had to face up to a strong Greek team. AEK despite of the absences of good players (Nikolaidis, Maladenis) and new transfers (Gamara, Mielkarski, Marica), played smart and unveiled positive elements. Unfortunately, Spurs after the 28th minute when Ziege sent with a free-kick the ball on the bar, did not manage to threaten the Greek defence.

In the second half, no chances at all...

The first half we might say it was shared. Iversen was very sharp, claiming all the time the ball and creative. Poyet , Clemence, Freund, and Ziege in the middle, were good enough however seemed unable to reach Rebrov and Iversen with their passes. Ziege was very furious after a small fight with Zagorakis (ex-Leicester)and most of the time was complaining about the whistles of the referee.

Doherty and King saved our defence many times. Bungie was careful but very late in his reactions. Taricco was a very good surprise for me. After a missing year he looks to be in a good shape again. Sullivan is always a guarantee and believe me he saved a lot last night.

Spurs Goalkeeper Sullivan was busy all night

For the rest Thelwell, Davies, Perry and Ferdinand I couldn't say so much, because in the second half they disappeared with all the team.

I can't explain the second half display. Perhaps they felt tired from the unexpectable hot conditions, I really don't know. I expected to see them trying more, they didn't. The absence of Sherwood and Anderton I think was the main problem. Nobody could create a good pass for the strikers. The high crosses from each side (from the right yesterday) are not enough for Rebrov for example, who has to put down the ball all the time. It's not the game we want. Glenn Hoddle has to find the man who can be capable to share the game, to open free ways and he can create for the strikers we have. Yesterday, nobody convinced me that he could do that. Anyway, that's all for the friendlies.

And something more...I saw a few Spurs fans outside of the ground yesterday. Probably tourists. They ran to meet the bus with the team when just arrived at 07:00 p.m. They felt strange when saw me wearing a Spurs t-shirt, speaking Greek and taking photos at the side of the bus. Yeah, that's me Vassilis from Greece. It was great chance for me to see my favourite team here in Athens and I feel so lucky.

Best wishes to all the Spurs fans around the world and I'm looking forward to see you all at White Hart Lane in late October. I'll be there....

Glenn pleases the autograph hunters

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