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Job done!

Posted on 2 October 2008  - 12:00

A place in the Group Stage of the UEFA Cup was secured via a 2nd leg draw with Wisla Krakow in the first round.

Job done!

A place in the Group Stage of the UEFA Cup was secured via a 2nd leg draw with Wisla Krakow in the first round.

Continued involvement in the competition was booked with our 2-1 White Hart Lane advantage being extended by a second half own goal at the Wisly Stadion. Wisla levelled late on and we were forced to endure a number of nervy moments, but it is our name that will be entered into the draw for the next stage.

It was a cautious probing start by both sides on a cool and bright afternoon in Krakow, a kind of early sparring before any knockout blows were landed. Given the scoreline, neither side needed to adopt a quick out of the blocks approach but, possession-wise, it was the team in black calling the shots on balance.

Chances were very much few and far between in the cagey opening 20 minutes , although Mauro Cantoro could have done better when he sneaked in to the left of the penalty area, which resulted in a rather feeble strike across goal that Heurelho Gomes was easily able to field.

Pawel Brozek tested the keeper to a greater degree just before the half an hour mark, but general containment appeared to be the order of the day in the first half, a no-risk strategy from both teams. A Gareth Bale cross from the left caused momentary concern for the Wisla rearguard when it was flicked on at the near post but, overall, Mariusz Pawelek was having a routine sort of afternoon in goal for the home side.

Just before half-time Gomes ensured we retained our aggregate advantage when Radoslaw Sobolewski burst through and, as the population of the currently three-sided arena prepared to party, Gomes did enough to thwart and divert for a corner. Junior Diaz concerned him to a lesser extent before the whistle sounded.

Wisla away

Luka Modric teed up Fraizer Campbell shortly after the break with the young striker firing narrowly over, while a Bale cross nearly squirted in at the near post before Modric worked Pawelek low to his right.

The deadlock on the day was broken in the 58th minute when, after a period of possession, a low first time cross from Bale was clipped into the corner of the net - prompting joy in the far corner of the ground, led by a certain Mr Gomes. Originally it appeared that Campbell got the touch, but replays suggested that it was an own goal.

It then looked like the moment Didier Zokora was about to break his Spurs duck when he sped through, but the midfielder floated his finish wide of the post when Campbell was in a better position to score.

Campbell was withdrawn and Darren Bent was next to trying his luck, drilling a fraction wide after sidestepping his marker at the top right hand corner of the penalty area.

The team were now dominant in pretty much all areas, galvanised by the goal and looking to top up the advantage - a teasing Lennon cross just clearing the head of Bent on 74 minutes.

Wisla away

Gomes produced a spectacular save to prevent Pawel Brozek's header rattling the net from Marek Zienczuk's corner. It was a save that was as crucial as it was magnificent, with Wisla building up a head of steam in an attempt to force their way back into the tie.

They did just that eight minutes from time when a long ball dissected our defences and Brozek darted through and lofted over the advancing Gomes and the ball bounced into the net.

Nerves were jangling as the home crowd did their utmost to inspire Wisla towards a goal that would have led to extra time. More heroics from Gomes denied Cleber and he was on hand again to clutch hold of the rebound.