Spurs under 17’s 2-3 Kashiwa Reysol (match report)

Spurs under 17’s 2-3 Kashiwa Reysol (match report)

A Spurs under 17 side (managed by Scott Parker) played their first group game of this seasons ALKAAS international cup this evening in Doha, against talented Japanese side Kashiwa Reysol. Thanks to the brilliant live coverage provided by the tournament on their YouTube channel, I was able to watch the entirety of what was a thrilling and frantic game of football. As Parker’s young side were narrowly beaten 3-2 by the Japanese club in a game inwhich they really deserved to win, with fast attacking football and creativity aplenty there will be many positives taken out of this game after a superb team display, ahead of Spurs’ crucial second game against PSG tomorrow. Spurs have the youngest side in the tournament and Parker and McDermott chose to field a side consisting of both u16’s and first year scholars. Spurs started the game well in the opening couple of minutes, a good incisive move which was started by Maghoma saw him slide the ball down to Bennett on the left flank. The 16 year old’s pacy cross needed to be well cleared by a Kashiwa defender. The winger then fired an effort straight at Kashiwa’s goalkeeper Leo Kokubo, from a tight angle shortly afterwards. The highly skilful Paris Maghoma was causing many problems in the central areas, with his neat passing and forward runs and would continue doing so for the remainder of the game. Spurs looked assured in their play and were enjoying more of the ball in the opening 20 minutes, though it was still quite even overall as Kashiwa held a strong back line. Another fine chance came Spurs’ way after Maghoma slipped a pass through to Bennett on the left, the wingers cross came bouncing off the top of the cross bar totally outwitting Kokubo. Before falling to Pochettino on the rebound, whose first time volley was cleared off the line by a defender.

Then moments later the so far quiet Dilan Markanday hit a deflected effort on to the side netting, as Kashiwa escaped once again. Spurs were really testing Reysol’s rock solid defence, J’neil Bennett tested Kokubo shortly afterwards with a drilled low effort. Before front man Rayan Clarke forced Kokubo into making a terrific low save, to deny the Spurs man’s powerful effort. Reysol were gifted a half chance when Maghoma sloppily gave away possession inside his own half, but Fumiya Unoki’s audacious effort from long range was never going to test Oluwayemi inside the Spurs goal. Things were going so well for Parker’s side up until Reysol were awarded a penalty kick, when Daichi Meda’s cross struck the arm of centre half Luis Binks inside the penalty area (totally unintentional). Unfortunately for the lilywhites Mao Hosayo’s spot kick was emphatically fired into the roof of Oluwayemi’s net (unstoppable). Parker’s side were incredibly unlucky to find themselves a goal down. Our lads looked to make an instant response straight from kick off, Max Tainio’s fine cross picking out makeshift centre forward Rayan Clarke but the Spurs man couldn’t connect properly with the ball, as it sailed well wide. A terrific pass from Luis Binks almost lead to a Spurs equaliser when Maghoma drove forward after picking up the ball. Shrugging off an opposition player in the process the midfielder curled a magnificent effort onto the top of Kokubo’s cross bar leaving him rooted to his spot. The ball came back out to Pochettino who could only volley wide, Spurs were continuing to be the better team. But it was Kashiwa Reysol who were the more decisive. An excellent defence splitting pass set Unoki advancing towards the Spurs goal as the half drew to a close, thankfully for Spurs his effort was blocked to safety by Binks.

Deep in stoppage time Spurs finally managed to break down Reysol’s tenacious defence, when Dilan Markanday drew level for Parker’s side. With the loose ball bouncing on the edge of the penalty area, Bowden managed to prod it down to Markanday, who swiftly entered Reysol’s box. Before wrapping his foot around the ball, to curl it into the back of Kokubo’s net courtesy of a hefty deflection off of Keita Ide, so well deserved! Spurs started the second half even sharper then they had done during the first, some brilliant early work from Paris Maghoma saw the midfielder carry the ball forward. Before setting up Bennett with a perfectly weighted pass, but the winger got his feet all wrong and ended up side footing the ball over the bar. Another incisive move swiftly followed when Markanday’s inviting cross was stabbed inches wide by Clarke. The same player then volleyed over on the turn moments later, as Spurs continued their fine start to the half, they could easily have been 3-1 up. The game was being played at a fast pace as Spurs continued to dominate, Clarke should have been awarded a penalty after being taken out in the area, whilst the influential Markanday curled wide of goal moments later. Spurs were peppering the Kashiwa goal, another fine effort this time from Pochettino followed. But Parker’s side had to be focused at the back, as Reysol were good on the counter. The composed Luis Binks got himself out of a sticky situation inside his own box, whilst Oluwayemi done well to deal with Unoki’s freekick. Binks done really well to snuff out Ide’s pass shortly afterwards, as he continued to impose himself at the back.

Despite their excellent start to the half Spurs found themselves behind again after being caught out by a great Kashiwa move. Hosoya’s defence splitting pass unlocked the Spurs defence, setting Yuusuke Shimizu through on goal. Shimizu scooped the ball wonderfully over the out coming Oluwayemi to cap off an excellent team move. Spurs looked to respond once again, this time Markanday trying his luck from range but to no avail. Whilst Oluwayemi showcased his quick reflexes to brilliantly keep out Hosoya’s powerful effort on the turn, at the other end. The game was becoming impossible to predict, it was both end to end and fast paced. The impressive Jamie Bowden came inches away from feeding a wonderful chance Into Markanday. Before Paris Maghoma’s dipping free kick went just over. And we could easily have found ourselves level after Rayan Clarke’s shot was spilled straight into the feet of Markanday by Kokubo. Unfortunately the Spurs man was harshly penalised after he managed to win the ball. A bizarre incident then followed, as substitute Enoch Asante was booked for entering the field of play early, much to Parker’s bemusement. Luis Binks testing effort stung the palms of Kubo, before an excellent move saw Spurs draw level. A brilliant surging run from Markanday resulted in the forward slipping a lovely and intelligent pass through to Bennett inside the penalty area. The composed 16 year old made easy work of a tough chance to convert with a deft dink over the goalkeeper. And we almost took the lead straight afterwards, when Clarke cut inside from the right before firing a low and accurate effort at goal, which was superbly tipped onto the post by Kokubo.

Substitute Enoch Asante hit Jamie Bowden’s promising cross straight at Kokubo before Markanday was ruled out for offside after interfering with play. However, the game then took a painful late twist when Kashiwa Reysol netted a late winner through Mao Hosoya, after his side managed to carve through the Spurs defence. After a good counter attack the move ball eventually came to Hosoya inside the area, as he managed to slot the ball past Oluwayemi who despite managing to get a foot to the ball, couldn’t prevent the winner. Maximus Tainio slammed the turf in frustration after Reysol had managed to get past his defence. Spurs had little time to try and find and equaliser but to their great credit they didn’t stop and went so close on occasions. A brilliant cross from Bennett managed to pick out Asante in the box but unfortunately the strikers effort (which came off his shoulder) went inches wide of the goal. Harvey White was called into making a brilliant last ditch challenge at the other end. Whilst Spurs frantically looked to get the ball forward after the fourth official indicated that there would be four minutes added time. A late surging run from the potent Bennett resulted in the winger whipping the ball into the danger zone, picking out Max Tainio. But the fullbacks weak effort done little to trouble the alert Kokubo. Late substitute Noni Madeuke showed some electric skill and pace down the right before Bennett struck what seemed to be a late equaliser, only to see his effort somehow turned on the post by the excellent Kokubo. In the end it was a disappointing 3-2 defeat for Parker’s lads, but they were absolutely excellent and on any other day they would have come out with three points. Parker’s side play PSG tomorrow afternoon, needing a win to progress to the knockout stages. COYS

Apologies for not publishing my report of our under 18s 6-3 win over Brighton at the weekend, I’ll have that published by tomorrow.

Player reviews: – Joshua Oluwayemi: Showed good hands and decision making, made a couple of decent saves. Good distribution also. Commanding from the back.
– Luis Binks: Cool composed and decisive at the back, once again I was left mightily impressed by the young centre half who I thought showed real maturity in what was a fine performance. Binks long range passing was top notch.
– Dennis Cirkin: Done a decent job at the back, look forward to seeing more.
– Maximus Tainio: I was quite impressed with the Finnish youth internationals performance against Reysol, he stayed deep and looked solid at the back.
– Jamie Bowden: Top performance from the skipper, who mopped up so well in the holding midfield role. So neat and tidy, managing to get into good positions at the important time. Also made some lovely passes, Winksesquse. Such a calming and composed figure to have sitting in front of the defence. Not forgetting that he got the assist for Markanday’s goal.
– Maurizio Pochettino: Decent display outwide, managed to get quite a few shots away at goal. Looked good on the ball.
– Dilan Markanday: Terrific. Continued his good form into this game. Markanday provided a goal and assist in what was a great performance. Used the ball so intelligently and posed a constant threat.
– Paris Maghoma: My motm, see below.
– J’neil Bennett: Another excellent performance. Was electric down the left, got into some great positions and whipped in many inviting crosses, scoring a really well taken goal in the process. His searing pace was evident right until the final whistle.
– Rayan Clarke: Was interesting seeing him start up front. Whilst he done a decent job up top, it was his efforts from range and cutting inside that impressed me the most.
– Harvey White: Industrious display.
– Enoch Asante: Good cameo, came close to scoring. Lively in the box.
– Noni Madeuke: Exciting late cameo, hoping he starts the PSG game.

My man of the match: Paris Maghoma. It was only yesterday that Gary Neville spoke about the lack of central midfielders who take on players, when he was referring to Mousa Dembele in our 1-1 draw with Southampton. Well 16 year old midfielder Paris Maghoma is certainly one of those rare type of players, as he has shown so impressively throughout this season. The attack minded central midfielder had the commentators waxing lyrical about him during today’s game, and rightly so. He was superb, he was the main supply line to the Spurs forwards. He initiated countless moves, with his creative passing and guile on the ball. His attacking flare and skill caused so many problems for the opposition, as did his strength on the ball and shooting from range. Like a young Paul Pogba!

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