Legends in Germany
A star-studded Spurs Legends squad enjoyed a foray into Europe at the weekend when they were invited to participate as the international guest team in the prestigious Onlineprinters-CUP in Germany.
The five-a-side tournament, broadcast live on German television from the 16,500-seater Westfalenhalle Arena in Dortmund, featured a host of top veterans who have previously represented Bundesliga giants Borussia Dortmund and Borussia Monchengladbach, including Martin Schneider, Oliver Neuville, Michael Rummenigge and 1990 World Cup winner Frank Mill.
Of particular interest, though, was the nine-man party of ex-White Hart Lane favourites, which featured goalkeeper Gareth Howells, Chris Perry, Stuart Nethercott, Darren Anderton, Ruel Fox, David Howells, Garry Brooke, Paul McVeigh and Mark Falco.
Drawn in Group B, Spurs remained competitive throughout, and played their first game against the hotly-fancied Rot-Weiss Essen, who had beaten Borussia Dortmund 2-0 in the opening game of the group.
With a constantly rotating side, Tottenham began well against a comparatively young Essen outfit, and took the lead in the seventh minute when McVeigh seized possession on the right and burst forward before rifling unstoppably into the net.
Disappointingly, the lead lasted less than a minute as Essen scored with their next attack, and after a solid defensive display in the second period, the match ended 1-1.
Encouraged by the point gained, Spurs went into their clash with home town side Borussia Dortmund knowing that a draw would be enough for them to qualify for the semi-finals.
The signs were good when McVeigh found the far corner of the net to put Spurs in front with two minutes played, but again a defensive lapse immediately after scoring allowed their opponents to snatch a quick equaliser.
Then came a sucker-punch as Dortmund – spurred on by a large home following – netted three goals in three minutes, each one a fierce shot that left the goalkeeper with no chance.
Dortmund scored again after half-time, while Falco was unlucky not to get on the scoresheet as his acrobatic volley from Anderton’s cross hit the far post before rolling across the face of goal.
Dortmund added a sixth goal soon after, but it was Spurs who had the last laugh as Fox found McVeigh with a downfield ball, and he squared for Perry to sweep home a well-deserved goal to wrap the scoring up.
Dortmund carried on their impressive form and made it through to the final, before losing 4-3 to last year’s winners, Borussia Monchengladbach. VfL Bochum and MSV Duisburg also took part.
With thanks to Billy Shaw...
Photographs courtesy of KÜHN SportConsulting