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Report: Portsmouth 0, Spurs 2

Posted on 13 August 2005  - 12:00

Tottenham Hotspur (Spurs) Football Club is located in North London. The club is also known as Spurs. Tottenham's home ground is White Hart Lane. The club motto is Audere est Facere (To dare is to do).

A first opening day success since August 2000 was secured with a 2-0 win at a rainy and windswept Fratton Park on Saturday.


An Andy Griffin own-goal resulting from a contest for the ball with Mido gave us the lead in first half stoppage time before Jermain Defoe effectively settled the encounter with a cool finish on 64 minutes.


The game was not as lop-sided as the scoreline might suggest and the balance of play was with Portsmouth for long periods. Gradually - very much boosted by the first goal - the boys managed to place a stranglehold on the play and looked more likely to score a third than Pompey to muster a reply.


Some of the rain that was delaying England's Ashes progress in Manchester must have made its way south and the new season was welcomed in with a shower as the players went about their warm-ups before kick-off.


There was a little possibility in the opening minute when a none too convincing header from John Viafara in the direction of Sander Westerveld nearly came up short and Defoe was close to latching onto it. Three minutes in Stalteri and Tainio combined to present Routledge with a clear chance in front goal that Westerveld did very well to fend away. It should have been a goal though.


Pompey built up a head of steam as the game reached the 15-minute mark and there were a few little exchanges involving Gregory Vignal, which served to heat up the atmosphere. Laurent Robert was getting into his stride and, from his corner, a Lua Lua flick would have only needed a slight diversion to find its way into our net.


A combination between Richard Hughes and Vignal led to Ivicta Mornar nearly being presented with a chance in front of goal on 28 minutes before Defoe had a chance to open our account two minutes later but he did not attach any power to his shot from 18 yards.


There was certainly more urgency about the home side in terms of attempting to break the deadlock but, against the run of play, we took an advantage into half-time. Tainio played the ball in towards Mido who cushioned it in the direction of Defoe before making a run for the return pass. A coming together with Andy Griffin followed in front of goal and the ball trickled into the net past the stranded Westerveld.


Portsmouth went straight back into pressing mode at the beginning of the second half and a speculative low drive from Vignal that had Paul Robinson scrambling was the closest they came to levelling in the first five minutes.


Chances followed for both Mido and Routledge to pick a decisive pass from a wide position that would lead to a likely goal, but on both occasions the option selected did not bring reward.


Reward did come along on 66 minutes when Mido did pick his pass well and found the run of Defoe down the left channel who rounded Westerveld in a flash and steered the ball goalwards to make it 2-0 and pretty much game over.


From our very cramped vantage point, you felt particularly pleased for the travelling Spurs fans housed in the open end at Fratton Park. They must have been drenched but spirits were not dampened and the home support was suitably drowned out right through to the final whistle.