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All square in San Jose

Posted on 17 July 2010  - 12:00

The first pre-season contest of our USA programme ended all square against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon, local time.

All square in San Jose

The first pre-season contest of our USA programme ended all square against San Jose Earthquakes on Saturday afternoon, local time.

The sun was shining at the Buck Shaw Stadium, as we are told it does pretty much throughout the year in San Jose, the spacious facility situated within the Santa Clara University, with a record 10,712 in attendance for the friendly against our club partners.

After a spell of early possession, the Earthquakes sprung on the counter with former Reading winger Bobby Convey sliding through to Chris Wondolowki, with his effort only rattling the side netting and not troubling Carlo Cudicini.

Ten minutes in a short corner led to Jermaine Jenas taking aim at goal and Robbie Keane applying a close quarters finish, but the strike was chalked off by the flag of the assistant referee.

Andros Townsend then employed some trickery down the left flank but could not steer his effort with any accuaracy.

Cornell Glen did his best to outmuscle makeshift central defender Kyle Walker, while there were half-chances at the other end that fell to Keane and Jon Obika via the industry of Townsend.

Ramiro Corrales forced Cudicini into a smart save from distance before Keane should have scored following Alan Hutton's supply for Kyle Naughton led to the young defender - operating on the right of midfield - dispatching a low and powerful cross that should have been knocked into the back of the net.

Gareth Bale aimed a free-kick towards the top corner at the half-hour mark but goalkeeper Jon Busch was able to clutch, before Townsend smashed into the sidenetting after another enterprising dash down the left.

A surge forward by Walker from the back came close to breaking the deadlock when his cross-shot clipped off the legs of Chris Leitch and flew across the face of goal just seconds before the break, which was reached with the teams all square.

Roman Pavlyuchenko, Luka Modric and Niko Kranjcar were introduced into the mix after the break in place of Obika, Naughton and Hutton.

Tom Huddlestone moved to central defence, Walker to right back and Townsend to right midfield - Kranjcar slotting in on the left, with Modric in the middle.

Pavlyuchenko went for it with his first touch, latching on to a long clearance and attempting to lob home keeper Busch. Keane and Bale then tried their luck without troubling Busch.

A superbly flighted cross from Bale came close to unlocking the Earthquakes gate, but Keane could not direct his header at the far post. Modric and Krancjar were beginning to make the team tick, tapping into the dynamism of Bale down the left as well as dictating an increased tempo.

Adam Smith came on with 20 minutes remaining in place of Walker, with Bale having moments before received lengthy treatment but being able to carry on.

Ryan Mason followed seven minutes later, taking the place of Keane. Calum Butcher was also introduced, giving Tom Huddlestone a breather for the final five minutes of a half where the weather perhaps began to take its toll and the intensity levels of the contest decreased.

Spurs: Cudicini; Hutton (Modric, 46), Walker (Smith, 71), Kaboul, Bale; Naughton (Kranjcar, 46), Huddlestone (Butcher, 85), Jenas, Townsend; Keane (Mason, 78), Obika (Pavlyuchenko, 46).