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Past matches in Asia

Posted on 26 May 2015  - 16:06

Our match-up with a Malaysia XI at the Shah Alam Stadium in Kuala Lumpar on Wednesday, May 27, is the latest in a long line of prestigious games we have played in Asia over the decades.

Ledley King in action against Boca Juniors at the 2005 Peace Cup in KoreaPedro Mendes competes for the ball against Boca Juniors at the 2005 Peace Cup in KoreaJermain Defoe up against West Ham's James Collins at the 2009 Barclays Asia TrophyThe team celebrates victory in the 2009 Barclays Asia TrophyMousa Dembele shields the ball against South China at the 2013 Barclays Asia TrophyKyle Walker on the charge in our 2013 Barclays Asia Trophy meeting with South China

Back in 1971, we embarked on a post-season tour of Japan, playing three matches against an All Japan XI in our first visit to Asia.

The first of these matches was played in Kobe on May 27, 1971, with goals from Joe Kinnear, Peter Collins, Alan Gilzean, John Pratt and a brace from Martin Chivers (pictured, below) seeing us run out 6-0 winners. We won 7-2 against the same opposition in Tokyo on June 3, with Chivers again scoring twice while there were double strikes from Gilzean and Pratt and Alan Mullery added a seventh.

Mullery himself got a brace, including a penalty, as we won the final meeting with an All Japan XI, again in Tokyo, on June 9. Chivers’ fifth goal of the tour confirmed a 3-0 victory.


We headed to Western Asia to play two end of season games in Syria in 1978, beating Aleppo 1-0 on May 8, 1978, thanks to a Chris Jones goal, while strikes from Jimmy Holmes, Mark Falco and a brace from Peter Taylor helped us beat a Syrian Police side 4-0 in the capital, Damascus, two days later.

The following year, we returned to Western Asia and specifically Kuwait to secure a 2-1 win over a Kuwait Army XI on May 16, 1979. Falco and Ricky Villa scored our goals.

During the 1978-79 season, we visited Jeddah for a friendly match against a Saudi Arabian XI. John Lacy, Gerry Armstrong, Colin Lee and Taylor scored as we won 4-2 in front of a crowd of 17,000.

Our special relationship with Malaysia – where we will compete in the AIA Cup this week – can also be traced back to the summer of 1979. After visiting Syria, we continued our journey on to Kuala Lumpur for a meeting with a Malaysian Select XI.

Local support for football and Spurs was demonstrated by an attendance inside the stadium of over 30,000. Falco was the hero on the night with a hat-trick, while Lee also got a goal in our 4-0 win. Steve Perryman and Villa were among the star turns in our team that day.


From Malaysia, it was on to Japan to compete in the Japan Cup. Our progress to the final of the tournament saw us beat Indonesia 6-0 in Yokohama on May 27, 1979, in which Lee and Villa got two goals apiece, while there were additional strikes from Don McAllister and Tony Galvin.

Two days later, Jones and Ossie Ardiles (pictured, above) got our goals as we saw off Japan A in Tokyo while we drew 1-1 with Italian opposition in the shape of Fiorentina on May 31, 1979. Lee scored in the match, played in front of a crowd of 12,000 people, in Nishigaoka.

Argentinian side San Lorenzo were our opponents in the semi-final of the Japan Cup. Fans in Tokyo for the June 2, 1979, match were treated to a thrilling spectacle, with Lee, Pratt and Galvin scoring in normal time, which ended in a 3-3 draw. The resulting penalty shootout saw us progress to the final with a 5-2 win.

Scottish team Dundee United stood between us and the trophy in Tokyo two days later. Gordon Smith and Ardiles got our goals in a relatively comfortable 2-0 win that evening.

Bahrain was added to the Tottenham Hotspur global passport in 1981, where we played two matches against a Bahrain Select XI in Isa Town on May 24 and 28, 1981, respectively. The first meeting finished 3-0 to Spurs, with Paul Miller, Galvin and Garry Brooke on the scoresheet. Miller and Galvin also netted as we won the second meeting 5-3. Garth Crooks was also on target while Falco scored twice.

Sandwiched in between the two matches in Bahrain, we headed over the border for another meeting with the Kuwait Army XI, who we had played two years previously. We replicated our 2-1 victory of 1979 again on May 26, 1981, with Brooke and Crooks getting our goals this time around.

We also played a Kuwait Army XI in Amman on March 8, 1985, with Crooks scoring the only goal of that game.

En route to competing in the $200,000 Tournament in Australia in 1985, we stopped off in Hong Kong for a friendly match against Seiko on May 23, 1985. Over 20,000 spectators were present to see us wrap up a 4-0 win thanks to strikes from Ally Dick, Falco and two from Gary Mabbutt.

Having won the FA Cup in 1991, we headed to Japan to take part in the Kirin Cup that summer. A 0-0 draw with Brazilian team Vasco da Gama in Kobo on June 2, 1991, was followed by our 2-1 victory over the Thailand national team in Nagoya on June 5, 1991. John Hendry and Matt Edwards scored that evening.

The final in Tokyo ended in a disappointing 4-0 defeat to the Japan national team. As well as savouring the nation’s victory, the 45,000 crowd present got their first sight of England international Gary Lineker playing for us. He would sign for Japanese side Nagoya Grampus Eight the following season, retiring from playing with them in 1994 after scoring four goals in 18 league matches.

The ‘Euro-Asia Challenge Match’ between ourselves and Eastern/Kitchee Select in Hong Kong on May 21, 1995, was significant as it saw the last appearance of Jurgen Klinsmann in a Spurs shirt in his first spell with us prior to signing for Bayern Munich. The German international signed off in style with two goals in a 7-2 victory that also saw goals for Darren Anderton, David Kerslake and Jason Dozzell, while Nick Barmby also got a brace.

We then visited China and Singapore for matches with Guangzhou and Singapore Lions respectively. A double-strike from Teddy Sheringham saw off Guangzhou 2-1 on May 24, 1995, while Anderton got our goal in a 1-1 draw with the Lions on May 26.


The Peace Cup of 2005 saw us take on some major clubs from around the world, with matches staged in stadiums in South Korea used for the FIFA World Cup only three years earlier.

The eight-team tournament saw us paired in Group B with the likes of Boca Juniors of Argentina, Spain’s Real Sociedad and Sundowns of South Africa. Group A featured France’s Olympique Lyonnais, PSV Eindhoven of Holland, Columbians Once Caldas and Seongnam Ilhwa Chunma who were representing the home nation.

We drew 2-2 with Boca Juniors in our opening group match in Suwon on July 16, 2005 (Anthony Gardner and Tom Huddlestone are pictured, above, in action in that game). After Marcelo Delgado had put the Argentine side 1-0 up, Jermain Defoe and Mido netted before half-time to give us a 2-1 lead. Daniel Bilos netted on 71 minutes to see the scores levelled again.

Two days later we put in a convincing performance against Sundowns, again in Suwon, with a Robbie Keane brace and a further goal from Frederic Kanoute securing us the three points. A 1-1 draw with Real Sociedad in Ulsan on July 21, 2005, was enough to see us top the table from Boca Juniors on goal difference and proceed to the final against Lyon.

Within the opening 10 minutes of that game in Seoul, we were 2-0 ahead with a Jeremy Berthod own goal and Robbie Keane’s strike. The Irishman made it three before half-time, while Hatem Ben Arfa’s second half consolation for the French side came from the penalty spot. Captain Ledley King lifted the impressive Peace Cup trophy after the final whistle, to rapturous applause from the crowd of 48,734.


Another trophy success in Asia came in 2009 in the shape of the Barclays Asia Trophy. China was a magnificent host country for the event, which saw us beat West Ham United 1-0 in Beijing thanks to a Defoe strike on July 29, 2009. Two days later, back at the Workers Stadium in Beijing, we beat Hull City 3-0 in the final, with two goals from Keane (pictured, above) and one from Aaron Lennon.

We travelled on to Hong Kong to face South China in the Panasonic Invitation Cup on August 2, 2009, going down to a 2-0 defeat. Against the same opponents in the Kong Kong Stadium on July 27, 2013, we overturned that loss with a 6-0 win. A Defoe hat-trick was added to with goals from Clint Dempsey and Andros Townsend, while South China’s Sean Tse put through his own net.