Asteras 1-2 Spurs - Mauricio's verdict
06 November 2014|Tottenham Hotspur
Mauricio Pochettino expected nothing less than the serious test provided by Asteras Tripolis and was delighted to inflict the Greek team’s first home defeat in three years of European football on Thursday night.
Quickfire goals from Andros Townsend and Harry Kane after 36 and 42 minutes secured the victory at the Theodoros Kolokotronis Stadium in Tripoli.
Asteras came out firing in the second half, missed two chances inside 90 seconds, struck the post and forced two outstanding saves from Michel Vorm on his European debut for us before finally replying through Jeronimo Barrales in the 90th minute.
Federico Fazio was sent off for bringing Barrales down in the box and the substitute netted from the spot to set-up a tense finale - the home team came close to equalising when Ziguy Badibanga headed into the side-netting.
That was Asteras’ first home loss in the Europa League at the eighth attempt and we remain level at the top of Group C on eight points with Besiktas, who beat Partizan Belgrade. Asteras are third on four points and Partizan bottom on two.
“It was an important win but it was a tough game,” reflected Mauricio.
“We knew it would be difficult in Triopli and this is the first time in three years they’ve lost at home.
“In the first half we were very good but in the second half, they played better and we needed to be more solid.
“We created some chances to score the third goal but at the end the most important thing was the three points and now we prepare for Partizan and then Besiktas.
"If we get three points we are in the next round of the Europa League.”