Bergwijn strikes late to sink Birmingham
Spurs 1-0 Birmingham City
Sat 29 August 2020, 17:00|Tottenham Hotspur
Steven Bergwijn finally made the breakthrough a minute from time as we made it three wins out of three in pre-season with a 1-0 home triumph over Birmingham City on Saturday afternoon.
In a game of few clear-cut chances for either side, we appeared to be heading for stalemate against the Championship outfit before half-time substitute Bergwijn popped up with a fine right-footed finish from the edge of the box in the 89th minute after Pierre-Emile Hojbjerg had latched onto Dele's pass and caused problems for the visitors' defence.
It set the seal on another useful warm-up outing for 2020/21 - the next time we take to the field at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium will be for our opening game of the Premier League season against Everton on Sunday 13 September, with one further friendly to come next Saturday at Watford.
Gedson Fernandes, playing in a midfield role, saw his early right-footed shot deflect through to Birmingham goalkeeper Andres Prieto while Eric Dier twice would have wanted to do better with headers from separate Harvey White set-pieces inside the first half-an-hour, seeing both efforts go wide. But arguably our biggest chance of the first half fell to Ryan Sessegnon five minutes before the interval when he capitalised on a mistake in the Birmingham defence, only to see his right-footed shot charged down by the advancing Prieto at his near post.
Jack Clarke couldn't bring Bergwijn's long ball under control in the box as the second period began while Serge Aurier made a couple of attempts to pick out Lucas Moura with crosses from the right, but the Brazilian couldn't get clean strikes on the ball in either case and Prieto was untroubled.
Aurier had a shot charged down while Gedson's attempt ricocheted to Heung-Min Son but he could only sweep over the crossbar from 20 yards out as the game entered the final quarter-of-an-hour.
We were applying plenty of pressure in the closing stages, Lucas and Son combining to send Hojbjerg running into the box, but the midfielder was forced to the byline and his eventual hooked cross was dealt with by the visitors.
Some neat play between Dele and Son ended with Sessegnon arriving onto the latter's square pass in the box but blasting into the side-netting on 81 minutes, but we finally hit the target with the clock ticking down, Dele releasing Hojbjerg who was held up at the edge of the box, with the ball cleared only as far as Bergwijn, who was able to tee up an inch-perfect right-footed shot that flew inside the far post from just outside the area.
Spurs 1-0 Birmingham City
Spurs: Hart (Lloris 46), Aurier, Dier (c) (Davies 46), Carter-Vickers, Cirkin (Bergwijn 46), Gedson, Sissoko (Hojbjerg 61), White (Dele 46), Clarke (Son 70), Sessegnon, Lucas. Substitutes (not used): Gazzaniga, Kane, Bowden, Scarlett, Devine.
Birmingham City: Prieto, Colin, Dean (c), Kieftenbeld, Bela (Miller 82), Šunjić (Medina 82), George (Reid 66), Lakin (Bailey 66), Pedersen, Friend, Crowley (Boyd-Munce 87). Substitutes (not used): Jeacock, Seddon, Bajrami, Dacres-Cogley, Roberts, Davis, Clayton.
Goal: Spurs - Bergwijn 89.
Referee: Peter Bankes.
Venue: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium.
Weather: Moderate breeze, drizzle, 14 degrees.