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Spurs Academy v Osaka - 26.07.08

Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

Academy Friendly at Spurs Lodge
Sat 26th July 2008, 10.15am


    SPURS   v   OSAKA U-17

(White/Blue)     (All Blue)

    4-4-2          4-4-2

     9(5)           1(0)
There were no teamsheets so it was a process of identifying who was who. If I have got anyone wrong then I apologise. This means that I cannot put names to the visiting side.

Spurs Team:- Dalton(Butler 46Mins); Smith, Clare(Byrne 46Mins.), Cox, Butcher, Caulker(Shehu 46Mins.), Asajile(Nicholson 46Mins.), Ekim(Carroll 51Mins.), Obika, Mason, M'Puku(Asajile 75Mins.)

Scorers:- Mason 1, 12, 29(pen), 46 Obika 8, 49, 63 o.g. 25 Shehu 52

Spurs Academy entertained the touring Osaka U-17 team at the Lodge this morning with an early kick-off. There were not may people to see the game despite the hot sunny weather. The side was made up of mainly first year scholars which could form the basis of the U-18 team for the coming campaign. I found out that Spurs were sending a team to Watford and one to Tilbury (1-1) with the reserve side going to Millwall which may have accounted for the small attendance.

Spurs lined up with Butcher and Caulker at the back with Smith at right back and Clare on the left. Ekim and Cox played in central midfield with Asajile on the right and M'Puku on the left with Mason in support of Obika in attack.

Spurs started the game with quick balls down the flanks and barely a minute into the game a centre by Asajile found Mason ten yards out who scored across the keeper into the far corner. Osaka, who showed some nice touches in the middle and some neat approach play, had a shot turned onto the near post for a corner which was put over by the number 5. Smith showed good pace a dribbling skills down the right and he provided a ball to the near post for the second goal. The keeper went down but could not hold the ball which was gratefully turned in by Obika.

Mason got his second when he ran onto a through ball from Cox to finish well. The visitors play-maker drove wide before Ekim fired over and Smith put over a cross to the far post which went wide. Obika put a chance wide before Dalton had to make his first save. Mason had a shot saved before Spurs increased their lead. Obika had been getting behind the defence regularly and on this occasion got to the line and drove a low cross in that beat the keeper and was turned in by a defender under pressure from Asajile. The defender made up for it a minute later when Obika got through again and dribbled passed the keeper, clearing his shot off the line.

Obika had another goal disallowed for offside. Dalton had to save again before an Osaka defender handled a cross intended for Obika on the far post. Mason got his third goal from the penalty spot. Mason and Ekim both had efforts wide before Mason hit the bar and with the ball not being cleared Asajile thumped the ball against the bar as well.

Spurs made four changes for the second half. Butler replaced Dalton in goal with Shehu joining Butcher at the back with Smith moving to left back to allow Byrne to play on the right. Nicholson replaced Asajile in midfield. Within seconds of the restart Mason latched onto a poor clearance to score from the edge of the area. Osaka started brightly in attack with three chances in quick succession, but none were on target. Pushing forward left room at the back which Obika exploited with his pace and raced away to draw the keeper and slot home. There was just enough time for Ekim to be replaced by Carroll in midfield before they scored again. From a corner the ball was flighted to the far post for Shehu. He failed to score first time but scrambled the ball home.

M'Puku turned a chance over at the far post before Obika again broke clear and beat the keeper to make it nine with his third. The keeper made a good save to foil Mason before Asajile came back on for M'Puku. Mason fired over after Osaka had another chance and then Osaka scored when their playmaker curled in from the edge of the area. Spurs were happy to contain the visitors and launch long balls over the top. This led to Butcher having the last chance of the match when his effort was saved.

This turned out to be a good work-out for the Spurs side as the Japanese side were not up to their standard. The showed good approach play but were bad at the back. Spurs worked well and showed variety in their play. Obika is now classed as a striker which with his speed and ball skills is no bad thing. New boy M'Puku is a big lad and likes to take people on but looks to need a little time to settle in. I am looking forward to the start of the Academy season which opens on the 23rd August with a home game against Man.City. Before that they go to Belgium for the Eurofoot tournament and one in Spain with a friendly at Man Utd On the 16th.

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