Jamaica 0-0 Spurs: Stalemate in The Bahamas
We played out a 0-0 draw against Jamaica in The Bahamas in front of a boisterous crowd at the Thomas A. Robinson National Stadium on Thursday night.
After a season full of tense matches in both domestic and European competition, it was a tranquil way to officially close our season under the setting Caribbean sun.
After a cagey opening, the match came to life in the seventh minute when a Michael Dawson long ball presented Jermain Defoe with the first real opportunity of the game, the striker racing through on goal but failing to hit the target with a looping effort from a tight angle.
Brad Friedel was forced into action on midway through the half, diving low to his right to parry away an effort from Reggae Boyz captain Jermaine Hue and Keammar Daley went even closer nine minutes later, cutting in from the left and curling a right-footed shot past the American which cannoned off the outside of the post.
The last kick of the half saw Hue involved once again, blasting over with a free-kick from the right as the players exited the field to the sounds of vuvuzelas and steel bands playing from the stands.
Four changes by Andre Villas-Boas at half-time altered the flow of the game in our favour early in the second half. Emmanuel Adebayor got in behind the Jamaica defence to latch onto Tom Huddlestone's through ball and forced a good save from second half substitute Andre Blake.
Moments later, the goalkeeper was called into action again to push out a Gylfi Sigurdsson shot from outside the area before reacting quickly to tip the ball away from Mousa Dembele to deny him a simple tap finish from the rebound.
With the Jamaicans on top, Bale entered the fray to stem the tide and received a rapturous reception from the crowd. His quick turn of pace and ability to create something from nothing - as seen so many times in the Premier League this season - raised expectations that we might see one final moment of magic from the Welshman in a season where he has provided so many.
The game had a frantic final 20 minutes with chances at both ends. Hugo Lloris had to be at his best to save at his near post from Darren Mattocks' powerful shot before the rebound was scuffed wide, while at the other end Vertonghen was denied by the legs of Blake after connecting well with Benoit Assou-Ekotto's fierce cross from the left.
Bale came closest to scoring the winning goal for us with a turn and shot from the edge of the box which Blake could only parry the ball into the path of Steven Caulker. The defender duly buried the rebound only to be caught a yard offside in the last meaningful act of the match.
Spurs team: Friedel (Lloris 46); Walker (Assou-Ekotto 39), Dawson, Caulker, Naughton; Livermore, Dembele (Bale 61), Mason (Huddlestone 46), Holtby (Vertonghen 46), Sigurdsson; Defoe (Adebayor 46)