Spurs 0-2 FC Porto (U19 UYL) - report from Hotspur Way
Tue 13 March 2018, 17:08|Tottenham Hotspur
Our UEFA Youth League adventure ended in disappointing fashion with a 2-0 home defeat to FC Porto Under-19s on Tuesday afternoon.
We controlled the possession for long spells of the quarter-final clash at Hotspur Way, but a combination of passes not reaching their intended targets and the visitors maintaining a stubborn five-man rearguard kept us at bay.
Porto grabbed the lead against the run of play on the half-hour mark when Diogo Liete's powerful header from a corner went in off Oliver Skipp and it was 2-0 within 10 minutes as we gave possession away cheaply and Santiago Vera's shot squirmed under goalkeeper Brandon Austin.
It was attack versus defence in our favour for much of the second half with Samuel Shashoua and Phoenix Patterson looking to weave their way into good areas, but we still didn't create anything clear-cut and our misery was compounded in stoppage time when George Marsh picked up a second yellow card and subsequent red.
Goal: Spurs 0-1 FC Porto - Oliver Skipp (own goal) - 30mins
We bossed the possession in the opening half-an-hour with Paris Maghoma's deflected looping effort forcing Porto stopper Diogo Costa to tip over and a succession of corners being won, but it was from a corner at the other end that Porto took the lead. Skipper Paulo Estrela delivered and Leite connected with a powerful downward header at the back post which took a touch off defensive midfielder Skipp on its way in.
Goal: Spurs 0-2 FC Porto - Santiago Vera - 40mins
Five minutes before the break, Porto doubled their lead after capitalising on a mistake at the back. After initially seeing his pass cut out, Skipp slid in to challenge Vera but was unlucky to see the attacker emerge with the ball in the box, Vera slotting beyond Austin, who got a touch but couldn't keep it out.
Above: Reo Griffiths in action.
Save: Austin at full stretch to reach deflected shot - 71mins
Much of the second half was spent with us in control of the ball and trying to pick our way through an organised Porto back five, but some loose passing at times proved our downfall. The visitors went close with just under 20 minutes left when Madi Queta's deflected shot from the edge of our area forced Austin into a flying save to his right while seven minutes later at the other end, Keanan Bennetts' corner was spilled by keeper Costa and a scramble ensued, but Pedro Justiniano cleared from a couple of yards out with the stopper beaten.
Red card: Marsh gets his marching orders - 90+5mins
We weren't able to meaningfully trouble Porto in the closing stages and deep into stoppage time, Marsh was penalised for a challenge on keeper Costa as he competed for Bennetts' free-kick in the box and was sent off after being shown a second yellow card.
Coach Scott Parker said
"We built the game up so well and we wanted to come out firing but we just looked a little bit leggy at times, especially in the first half. We never really caused much threat in behind, they scored from a set-play, then from a mistake which is fine, we accept that, and it gave them a platform to go and see out the game. In the second half we gave it a go and we tried at least to do the right things but, playing against a back five like they had today, it was difficult to break them down and I didn't think we deserved to get anything from the game. It's difficult. You need that real spark and in the second half at times, Samuel Shashoua brought that, but the detail and the tiny little passes went astray and we weren't on it today. It's football and sometimes that happens but I did feel we were sloppy at times and in the key moments in the game we didn't punish them enough.
"I don't think we can forget how well we've done this season. We came out of a very tough group with Real Madrid and Borussia Dortmund involved, had some really good results and we've just come up short at the big moment in the knockout stages. The disappointing thing is we've not performed to the level we have in the other games in the competition but now we dust ourselves off. It's been a massive learning experience for the boys and they'll only be stronger for it."
Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Reynolds (Brown 68), Marsh, Tanganga (c, Duncan 46), Eyoma, S Shashoua, Skipp, Griffiths, P Maghoma (Patterson 46), Bennetts. Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Dinzeyi, Lyons-Foster, Bowden.
FC Porto: Costa, Justiniano, Queirós, Leite, Bessa, Estrela (c), Romário Baró (Sousa 82), Queta, Musa, Rui Pires (Lameira 90+1), Vera (Maleck Robles 75). Substitutes (not used): Silva, Fidelis, Neto Lopes, Lutindo Lopes.
Goals: FC Porto - Leite 30, Vera 40.
Yellow cards: Spurs - Hinds 47, Marsh 66, 90+5, Eyoma 86; FC Porto - Bessa 63.
Red card: Spurs - Marsh 90+5.
Referee: Georgi Kabakov (Bul).
It's a busy programme of fixtures for our Academy this week, with a home Under-18 Premier League fixture against Swansea City taking place at Hotspur Way tomorrow (Wednesday 14 March, 11am) before the Under-18 Premier League Cup Final against Chelsea at their Cobham training base on Sunday (18 March, 2pm).