Consent Preferences Spurs Odyssey Friendly match report - Newcastle v Spurs, 22.05.24
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Newcastle v Spurs, 22.05.24

(10.50am UK time)
Played at the Melbourne Cricket Ground
(Newcastle won penalty shoot-out 5-4)

Newcastle scorer:-
Isak, 45

Spurs scorer:-
Maddison, 32

Attendance:- 78,419

Referee:- Alireza Faghani

Newcastle (4-3-3):- Pope (sub Gillespie, 87); Trippier (c) (sub J Murphy 37) (sub Parkinson 87), Krafth (sub Thompson, 78), Burn (sub A. Murphy, 63), Hall (sub Charlton, 78); Anderson (sub Hermes, 78), Guimaraes (sub De Bolle, 71), Joelinton (sub White, 46); Almiron (sub Ashby, 63), Isak (sub Wilson, 46) (sub Kuol, 71), Barnes (sub Diallo, 64)
(Armband ultimately worn by Gillespie)

Sub not used:- Turner-Cooke

No bookings

Spurs (4-2-1-3):- Austin (sub Whiteman, 78); Pedro Porro (sub Abbott, 46) (sub Black, 88), Dragusin (sub Hall, 71), Van de Ven (sub Phillips, 46), Emerson Royal (sub Kyerematen, 88); Sarr (sub Donley, 61), Bentancur (sub Skipp, 46); Maddison (sub Devine, 46); Johnson (sub Santiago, 69), Kulusevski (sub Scarlett, 69), Son (Capt.) (sub Bryan Gil, 61)
(Armband to Skipp)

Sub not used:- Vicario

Booked:- Skipp (foul on Guimaraes)

Obligation fulfilled. 78,419 paying customers happy.

Before they travelled, there didn't appear to be much enthusiasm for this game among playing staff and perhaps some of the coaches on either side. However, the match, played in front of a massive and enthusiastic crowd, was something of a homecoming for Ange Postecoglou who is the first Australian to manage/coach a Premier League side.

The match was drawn, with both goals scored in the first half when the teams fielded strong sides. In the second half, the event turned into an under-21 game, due to a mass of substitutions. Both managers seemed to be somewhat taken aback to find that there was a penalty shoot-out, which we lost. The most experienced player on the Spurs side took the first kick, which was the poorest of the nine taken and was saved by sub goalie Gillespie, who did seem to move ever so early.

There was no sign of either Romero or Hojbjerg. I understand Romero had headed back to Argentina on family business, and Hojbjerg picked up a slight injury. There were plenty of smiles on both sides as the teams entered the field of play on a misty night in Melbourne.

Spurs seemed to be the more interested of the two sides. Newcastle, after all, have another game to play on Friday against an A-League all-stars side. Newcastle seemed to be in a 4-5-1 formation for a lot of the time, but Spurs did put them on the back foot.

Spurs played in similar style to Sunday, with Kulusevski between Johnson and Son. With Maddison in good touch and Son causing his former team-mate Kieran Trippier problems, Spurs forced the opposition to defend a great deal.

Melbourne Cricket Ground

Thanks to attendee Mark Rose for this picture

Son had an early chance after an error at the back, but his shot was blocked. Son wanted a handball in the box, but the local referee was not interested. Isak had a chance at the other end but fired over.

Emerson was playing the inverted left-back role and had a good game by and large. He couldn't manage a shot though after Kulusevski gave him a short pass in the box after good work by Son.

Dragusin was able to play in his conventional position and Micky van de Ven's pace and skill was to the fore on more than one occasion, initially when chasing, catching, and dispossessing Almiron.

Son tried to cross from near the bye-line after combination play by Maddison and Kulusevski, but the ball rebounded and went out off our captain.

Austin punched clear one corner before Emerson conceded another out of necessity. Johnson hadn't been used much, but Maddison found him after 21 minutes. After the cross was cleared, Maddison hit a right-footed shot wide. Sarr ran out of space with the ball towards the right of the box after good close play by Bentancur and Kulusevski.

Spurs had a free kick just outside the box after Trippier caught Son. Maddison touched the ball short to Son who was then clearly blocked by Trippier inside the area. Once again, the referee was not interested.

Joelinton was not too happy after a Bentancur challenge and needed treatment. A deflected shot by Sarr was easily caught by Nick Pope, who only returned to action after a 5-month lay-off on Sunday. Pope missed out on Gareth Southgate's squad announced yesterday. He soon made a mistake, gifting the ball to James Maddison who was able to turn and find space for a convincing shot high into the net.

Kieran Trippier was replaced after 37 minutes and might have an ankle injury, which will worry Southgate.

Pope saved at short range from Johnson who met a cross hit from the left by Son. In a rare attack Isak equalised just before the break after Guimaraes fed the ball to Trippier's replacement Jacob Murphy. Austin could only parry Murphy's cross straight to Isak who snapped up the close-range chance.

The raft of substitutions began with the start of the second half and for a while, Newcastle seemed to have more experience on the field, and offered more threat. Two of the Spurs subs were Ashley Phillips and Alfie Devine. Phillips showed pace similar to that of the man he had replaced, Van de Ven.

Barnes curled a right-footed shot wide of Austin's left post and at the other end, Burn made an important interception when Son passed forward to Emerson.

Ollie Skipp was shown the only yellow card of the game when he fouled Guimaraes. 18-year-old George Abbott and Devine combined to feed the ball to Johnson who hit a cross too high and too deep. Abbott plays in midfield or defence.

Johnson hit another poor cross before Austin picked up a weak shot by Guimaraes. He had received the ball as a result of Dragusin's error. The experienced players in our side were being outshone by their younger colleagues at times.

Emerson got an important touch to prevent Anderson taking advantage of a long ball from the right. Spurs broke forward and Sarr fired wide, after his first attempt had been blocked.

More and more substitutions followed, as the rain began to fall. I suppose you'd call it November in Melbourne.

Those Spurs youngsters put us on the front foot again. Hopefully, they are all names which will become more and more familiar to us in the future. Some of them will be required to play in Sunday's U-21 play-off final!

Bryan Gil played with gusto and encouraged his team-mates. Dane Scarlett had a powerful diving header go just wide after Santiago's cross. Pope had to clear from his left-bye line when Santiago tried to latch onto Gil's pass. Emerson rose but glanced a header wide across the goal from another Gil cross. Jamie Donley also had some impressive moments.

In the closing stages, Scarlett had another shot blocked. Donley and Santiago offered the approach play on the left side.

The match was drawn, and we were forced to watch a penalty shoot-out. By this time, Whiteman was in the Spurs goal and didn't offer any resistance. After Gil's failure, Scarlett, Donley, Tyrese Hall (described as a Dembele-like midfielder) and Ollie Skipp were convincing. Hall and Skipp were particularly cool. There was no trophy as far as I am aware. Presumably, Australia likes to see a "winner."

Spurs' seniors' season is over, but many of those on display will have Euros or international matches on their mind. There's a big game at The Tottenham Hotspur Stadium on Sunday that will occupy the minds of the younger players.

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