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IMG Tournament Day 4, 19.12.15
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List.

IMG International Cup 2015 Day 4
Saturday 19th December, 2015

No game for Spurs on Day Three

After a day of rest Spurs resumed with their last group game which was against the Mexican side Toluca FC. Spurs played Toluca last year in the group stage beating them 2-0 with goals from Carter-Vickers and Loft. The game also saw six yellow cards which indicated its tough nature.

This game was also important as both sides had two wins each with Spurs' goal difference meaning that Toluca needed to win.

Spurs 0 0 Toluca FC

Spurs(4-2-3-1): Austin; Pritchard, Tangana, Brown, Muscatt; Owens, Stylianides; Bennetts(Goddard 64), Edwards, Shashoua(Oteh 80+2); Loft

Unused Subs: Whiteman; Tsaroulla, Marsh, Duncan, Roles, Tracey, Sterling

Booked: Tangana 14, Muscatt 28, possibly more.

Toluca FC: Team unknown four subs made.

Booked: No.6 27, No.10 41, No.8 67, No.10 75(Red), plus others.

This was always going to be a tough game as last year produced six bookings between the teams and the Mexicans' style of play did not change for this match. The weather in Florida was chilly due to a cold wind but things soon hotted up in the game. Toluca used the same tactics they used last time which was to disrupt Spurs game and look to score on the break.

This strategy saw an early chance for the Mexicans when Austin failed to hold a free kick at his near post but the ball was turned wide of the goal. Tangana was booked for a foul when the Toluca striker backed into him. It was a frustrating first half as there were no shots at either end as Spurs were stopped from running the ball and the Spurs defence had few breaks made against them, but Muscatt was booked for a challenge near the halfway line.

There were no changes for the start of the second half which saw Toluca continue with their spoiling tactics picking up a yellow card in the first minute. The referee was getting fed up with their behaviour pushing players away from dead ball situations. The game began to open up as the game wore on with Spurs beginning to escape the close intentions of their markers.

Bennetts was replaced by Goddard and Spurs began to play balls into space to mix up the play. Stylianides won a free kick in a central area with a yellow card shown to the offender but the free kick was wasted. Toluca got through but the shot was wide. Toluca then lost a player to a second yellow but were so well set up that Spurs could not take advantage.

The game continued to be broken up with fouls and players diving all over the place. It was hard to follow the events, and the ref flashed his card so quickly without making the offender clear to everyone. It was only after the game that I found out that nine cards had been shown.

Spurs replaced Shashoua with Oteh as they sought to see out the game which they could have won when Loft fired wide in added time that stretched to eight minutes.

This was more a battle than a game of football with was a disappointment to the large crowd who came to watch and who also made their feeling for Toluca known. At the end of the game the whole of the Mexican side, including the coaches, confronted the Spurs party who did not rise to the bait. I am not looking forward to seeing the play-off game between the Mexicans and Black Rock as the Americans are likely to be more aggressive than Spurs.

The final game will see Spurs play Maccabi Haifa who topped group B by drawing with Black Rock 1-1 with both goals coming from the penalty spot. Earlier they had beaten the IMG Academy 4-0 and Tampa Bay Rowdies 7-0 which suggests that the final could be a good game.

IMG Tournament Day 1 report
IMG Tournament Day 2 report
IMG Tournament Final report

                   Group A

             P  W  D  L  GF  GA  Pts.
Spurs        3  2  1  0  11   1   7
Toluca FC    3  2  1  0   6   1   7
Baltimore    3  1  0  2   3   5   3
Jacksonville 3  0  0  3   0  13   0


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