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Spurs v Villarreal, (PL2 International Cup - 14.11.17)
Courtesy of:- Ray Lo, and the Spurs List
[e-mail Ray Lo]

    Premier League International Cup, Group F, 2017-18
         Lamex Stadium, Broadhall Way, Stevenage
             Tuesday 14th November 2017, 7pm

                 SPURS   v   VILLARREAL
             (White/Blue)   (All Yellow)
                4-1-3-2        4-1-3-2

                  0(0)           2(2) 

         Alfie Whiteman  1   Diego Lazaro
           George Marsh  2   Genis Montelio
        Keanan Bennetts  3   Xavier Quintilla
           Oliver Skipp  4   Roger Riera
      Christian Maghoma  5   Ramon Bueno(C)
  Brooklyn Lyons-Foster  6   Sergio Lozano
             Jack Roles  7   Christian Artiles
     Joseph Pritchard(C) 8   Imanol Garcia
       Kazaiah Sterling  9   Franco Acosta
        Shayon Harrison 10   Pedro Martinez
        Samuel Shashoua 11   Simon Moreno

              Ryan Loft 12   Enric Franquesa
         Brandon Austin 13   Jose Antonio Martinez
          Shilow Tracey 14   Pau Francisco  
            Tariq Hinds 15   Jaun Fernandez
             (11)62Mins      (2)80Mins
         Jamie Reynolds 16   Victor Moya
                        17   Dario Povenda
                        18   Mario Gonzalez

                             Artiles 29
                             Moreno 45+1

                             Lozano 89(Late)
                             Artiles 90+3(Late)

Sent Off:-
      Bennetts 90+9(UGC)     Lozano 90+9(UGC)
                             Acosta 90+9(UGC)

           Wayne Burnett     Miguel Alvarez

Attendance: 503

Referee: Neil Hair
Assistants:- Conor Farrell & Daniel Simpson
Fourth Official: Andreas Anastasiou

It was a chilly evening for Spurs' second group match in this competition for U-23 teams against the Spanish side Villarreal who top the group with two wins. Spurs had a comfortable win over West Ham by 7-2 with the visitors beating the "Hammers" 3-1 and Benfica 3-2.

Spurs lined up with Whiteman in goal behind Maghoma and Lyons-Foster with Marsh at right back and Bennetts on the left. Skipp took the defensive midfield position behind Pritchard who was flanked by Roles on the right and Shashoua on the left in support of Harrison and Sterling up front. With an eye to the league game on Saturday Spurs had a short bench.

Spurs kicked off attacking the Austin Stand but were soon on the back foot as Villarreal pressed high up the pitch. Whiteman had to make early saves from Artiles' free kick and Moreno when played in by Artiles. He followed that with a stop when Acosta drove from the edge of the area - all inside the opening ten minutes.

The visitors kept up the pressure with Artiles firing over before Sterling put Bennetts' cross wide. A ball in by Martinez was hit over by Moreno before a Spanish corner produced another chance. Villarreal packed the six yard box and when the kick reached the far post for Montolio to head, Whiteman got a hand to the shot with Lyons-Foster clearing off the line.

Harrison had been making runs behind without success with his best called offside which was a very tight call by the assistant nearest us. Sterling got clear on the right of the area and pulled the ball back for Shashoua. The Spurs wideman, who had been having a good game up till then, hit a weak effort which was easily cleared.

Villarreal took the lead when Artiles weaved his way down the left before hitting a fierce rising shot that beat Whiteman. They continued to push Spurs back with Whiteman having to save from Moreno and Artiles, while Lazaro only had a Harrison effort to deal with. Acosta saw an effort go for a corner before drawing a save from Whiteman, but in added time at the end of the half Villarreal scored again. Martinez hit a ball to the far post where Moreno got in to score.

There were no changes for the start of the second half but Villarreal made an early change when Poveda came on, quickly drawing a save from Whiteman with a back header that went for a corner. Whiteman saved from Acosta before Spurs made their first change with Tracey replacing Roles to join the attack with Sterling moving to the right. At the same time Hinds came on for Shashoua to play at right back with Marsh moving into midfield.

The changes worked as Spurs began to get a foothold in the game with Tracey drawing a save from Lazaro. With the game moving into the middle third Lyons-Foster got the upper hand on Acosta and the Spanish midfield began to worry more which showed in their defending. The final changes were made with Spurs replacing Harrison with Loft and Villarreal making a forced change as Montilio twisted his ankle cutting out a ball to Bennetts.

Having made their three substutions Villarreal went down to ten when Acosta went down with cramp. The game was delayed as they tried to get him to continue but eventually he had to came off but stayed on the sidelines in case he was needed. Skipp broke up and attack and as he led a breakaway he was caught from behind by Lozano who was booked.

Well into the seven minutes of added time Bennetts beat two men before he was caught from behind by Artiles who was booked for the foul. This just increased the tension and when Bennetts was held in the last minute he pushed the defender off the pitch which started a free for all. When the officials had calmed things down, the referee issued three red cards. Bennetts for starting it and Lozano for his part. The third was shown to Acosta who had joined in for entering the field of play without permission. Spurs had the last chance before the final whistle when Lyons-Foster fired wide following a corner.

Spurs were well beaten and could have conceded more but the response in the second half when changes were finally made saw their best spell of the game when they caused Villarreal to tighten up. However, the visitors were confident enough to play with ten men at the end. The win makes it three from three for the Spaniards to win the group. Spurs can still finish second with a chance of progressing if they can beat Benfica in their last game which is not until January. Spurs' more immediate priority is to beat Chelsea on Saturday at Hotspur Way.


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