Spurs under 19’s 1-1 AS Monaco (3-1 after penalties): (match report)
Our under 19’s progressed to the quarterfinals of the UEFA youth league in style on Wednesday afternoon with a dramatic victory over French side AS Monaco at Broadhall way. It was a thrilling game to attend, end to end and feisty it was a brilliant advertisement for youth football, due to it being broadcasted live on BT sport Spurs fans from across the country were able to watch Scott Parker’s side edge an extremely close tie on penalties. The scenes after Monaco missed their decisive last kick were absolutely wonderful, it was a day in which all of the players involved will remember for a long time to come. Not forgetting to mention that they’ll face Porto at home in the quarterfinals of the competition, sometime next month. Spurs got the game underway, Parker had fielded a very strong side with the surprise addition being Tashan Oakley-Boothe on the right hand side. Monaco who were playing in their traditional red and white strip, gave us an early scare. When Sylla burst into the left side of the Spurs box unimpeded. His effort from the byline was only stopped from squeezing in by a brilliant block from Lyons-Foster on the line. Brandon Austin dealt fairly comfortably with Antonucci’s effort a couple of minutes later as Monaco continued to impress, with their sharp attacking style of play. Parker’s side looked to get the ball into the Monaco half, some good trickery by Oakley-Boothe managing to win a dangerous free kick on the edge of the penalty area. Keanan Bennetts curler on the follow up flew just wide of Mifsud’s goal. Spurs found themselves with a similar opportunity a couple of minutes later after a Monaco player committed a cynical foul on Sterling.
This time Bennetts opted to whip in a delivery which was met by the rising Oliver Skipp, the ball eventually coming to Roles whose effort was blocked. The game was tight but not uneventful, Austin almost had the ball nicked off of him by Sylla in his own box, whilst Spurs had a bit of a scare after Roles committed a crunching sliding challenge (which for a moment I thought was a red card). The Finnish referee brought out his yellow card much to Roles’ disbelief. The end to end nature of the game made it an exciting one for the spectators. Only a matter of moments after Alioui’s header had went straight down the throat of Austin, Spurs were on the break and it almost resulted in a goal. Bennetts chose to go on a promising run down the left flank, his pin point delivery into the danger zone was met by Kazaiah Sterling. Sterling’s fine header forced an excellent stop out of the Monaco goalkeeper who managed to keep the scores level. Brandon Austin managed to make a smart reflex save to keep out Sylla’s powerful effort at the other end. Before almost being caught out by N’Gakoutou Yapende’s deceptive free kick a couple of minutes later. The fast tempo of the game continued, it was developing into an aggressive attacking game, a proper cup tie if you like. Jack Roles’ decent free kick curled just wide of Mifsud’s goal. Whilst the attack minded Jamie Reynolds had a pacy cross cleared to safety in the nick of time by a Monaco defender. It’s worth mentioning that both of the Spurs centre backs TJ Eyoma and Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had been playing superbly up until this point in the game.
It came as a blow to Parker’s side when they conceded to the French side on the stroke of halftime following Alioui’s strike. A deep cross was whipped into the Spurs box from out left, the ball was contested eagerly in the box by both sets of players but ultimately it came down to Alioui around 7 yards out from goal. He took it down first time rifling a low effort into the bottom corner of Austin’s goal, 0-1. An emphatic celebration followed. A slightly interesting observation I made from half time was the presence of Nigel Warburton in the terraces, Warburton was chatting away with the Monaco officials. The second half couldn’t have begun any better for Parker’s side who managed to draw level less than five minutes in. It was a goal of real beauty and class. Reynolds had managed to get to the loose ball first just guiding it into the feet of Bennetts down the left wing. The winger managed to turn his man before working his way past another defender in the box to shift the ball onto his right foot, and curl a wonderful finish across goal and into the far corner of Mifsud’s net, 1-1. No sooner had Spurs stopped celebrating when Monaco caught us on the break straight after the restart, Badiashile Mukinayi managing to feed the ball through to Antonucci down the right flank. The Belgian burst forward before smashing the ball on to the upright leaving Austin with no chance to react. N’Gakoutou Yapende’s sliced cross caused Austin trouble. And the Monaco attack wasn’t showing any signs of lowering its tempo, Austin having to be alert to clear Antonucci’s cross a minute or so afterwards.
A cynical foul on Bennetts stopped a promising counter attack for Spurs and managed to cause a bit of a square up between a Monaco player and Maghoma in the process. With so little to separate the two sides it was always going to come down to who netted the next goal. Substitute Samuel Shashoua soon made an impact on the game following his introduction. After he laid a nice ball off to Maghoma down the right, the 16 year olds fine strike being blocked by Antognelli. Monaco still looked the more threatening side and they ought to have done better when a golden chance came their way. Spurs has been caught out down the left hand side, Antonucci managing to square the ball to Badiashile Mukinayi in the box. The defender was in space and looked destined to find the back of the net, but much to the fans relief he fluffed his chance. And his side footed effort flashed inches wide of Austin’s right hand post. It had developed into the perfect attacking game both sides were open, desperate to avoid it going all the way to penalties. A player who had grown into the game a lot more in the second half was Maghoma, and after winning the ball back in the centre of the pitch, the midfielder created a chance of his own making. Surging forward towards the penalty area he curled an effort at goal, which was tipped behind for a corner kick by Mifsud. The introduction of Samuel Shashoua to the field had given Spurs a new attacking outlet and with his Eriksen like vision it didn’t take long before he started to influence proceedings. One such example came about after he intelligently played through Hinds down the right channel, the fullback managing to whip a cross into the danger zone. Which was met by Kazaiah Sterling whose first time effort smashed off of Mifsud’s crossbar, it deserved a goal!
It was a frantic end to the game, Antonucci saw his effort squirm narrowly wide before going close again a minute later. This time courtesy of a real curler of an effort which bent just wide of Austin’s near post. The excellent Lyons-Foster managed to get a vital touch to the ball to prevent Alioui from having clear passage through to goal. The Monaco bombardment continued when Silva’s clean strike was stopped magnificently by Austin. Spurs went straight down the other end, some excellent hold up play by Sterling resulted in the Spurs man turning before curling an effort towards the postage stamp of Mifsud’s goal, unfortunately the keeper matched Sterling’s effort with a top class save. And he was also alert to substitute Duncan’s effort a couple of seconds later to make another good stop. I dread to think how the game would have ended were it not for the superb defending of the Tottenham centre halves. The first decisive piece of defending was made by Eyoma who managed to keep up with Alioui who was through on goal, a vital touch from the Spurs man managed to unsettle the Frenchman a bit and his resulting effort was palmed to safety by Austin. The second piece of defending was even better, Lyons-Foster excellent last ditch challenge to stop Alioui in the penalty area managed to take the game to penalty kicks. A thrilling but ultimately nervy end to the game pursued the daunting task of penalty kicks would decided which team would be making it into the quarter finals.
Samuel Shashoua of Spurs took the first penalty of the shoot out right in front of the Austin stand. His curling low effort unluckily coming off the bottom of the post. Alioui responded by scoring for the visitors. Sterling converted spurs’ next spot kick and the decisive moment in the shoot out for Parker’s side came straight after. When Bongiovanni’s effort hit the crossbar giving Spurs a real chance of progressing to the next round. The next penalty kick was cooly converted by Maghoma before Austin’s diving save prevented Antonucci from drawing level. And after Oliver Skipp made it 3-1 the pressure was on the shoulders of Sylla who had to score for Monaco. The pressure got to the Monaco youngster whose powerful effort came crashing off the cross bar, as the Spurs players all went sprinting over to Austin, rejoicing and hugging one another. It was sheer passion and delight and rightfully so! COYS
Player reviews: – Brandon Austin: Excellent all round performance, was the hero of the game. Made 8 saves some of which were top draw and also made the difference in the shoot out. Saving Antonucci’s effort.
– Tariq Hinds: Good strong performance played it safe and didn’t take any chances going forward.
– Jamie Reynolds: Impressive performance was solid at the back and balanced it well with his attacking style of play, though his lack of pace did cause a couple of issues. Got the assist for Bennetts goal.
– Oliver Skipp: Dominant and assured he kept things simple but it was his relentless pressing and sheer power in those central areas that impressed me most.
– TJ Eyoma: Top performance from the skipper. Eyoma was everywhere across the backline. He defended with real quality not only in the challenges he made but also in his positioning which I thought was superb. Made countless blocks and interceptions in the final third, Eyoma also worked really well with fellow centre half Lyons-Foster. Both players complimented each other with there style of play.
– Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My motm see below.
– Tashan Oakley-Boothe: I was a little surprised to see him feature outwide considering as he is mainly a central midfielder. Did a decent job on occasions, showed some nice silky skills. But overall I felt he was pretty ineffectual down the right channel and he struggled to really make his mark on the game.
– Paris Maghoma: A good performance from the powerful midfielder, whilst he may not have had the same impact on the game as he did against Arsenal u18’s the previous weekend. Maghoma still went on those surging runs through the middle combined with his clever twists and turns. A player of real passion his steel and aggression in the midfield helped us out. He was also one of the few players who wasn’t afraid to test the keeper from range. It’s worth noting that he was the youngest player on the park by quite a distance! He was so calm in despatching his spot kick.
– Kazaiah Sterling: High tempo performance from the centre forward who gave an impressive showing against Monaco. Excellent in his hold play and positioning, Sterling came close to getting on the scoresheet on a number of occasions.
– Jack Roles: Whilst he didn’t make a huge impact in the final third Roles made up for this with his excellent work rate across the midfield.
– Keanan Bennetts: Another excellent attacking performance from Bennetts down that left hand side. The scorer of an absolute worldie, Bennetts quick feet and thinking gave us a great outlet going forward, his surging runs and crossing were impressive as always.
– Samuel Shashoua: Following his introduction in the second half, Shashoua’s Eriksen like creativity changed the dimensions of the game for Spurs, his razor sharp vision and intelligent little passes and off the ball movements really improved the way we played as a team. Great to see him back at full fitness!
– Dylan Duncan: Decent albeit it a very short cameo.
My man of the match: Brooklyn Lyons-Foster. Before I talk about his performance I’d like to recall a really classy thing that the young centre half did during the penalty shoot out. After Samuel Shashoua missed his penalty kick he was visibly distraught making the long walk back to the centre circle with his head in his hands. Lyons-Foster left the other Spurs players and went over to console Shashoua, something I thought was really good of the young man. Regarding his performance it was another absolute beauty, the way he defends. The way he reads the game and the way he reacts to situations is just phenomenal. I can recall many last ditch challenges, blocks and interceptions that he made during the Monaco game which were of such importance, I even observed his off the ball positioning. I’m currently writing a piece on Lyons-Foster and will have it published some time next week.
Spurs: Austin, Hinds, Reynolds, Skipp, Eyoma (c), Lyons-Foster, Oakley-Boothe (Duncan 87), P Maghoma, Sterling, Roles (S Shashoua 67), Bennetts.
Substitutes (not used): De Bie, Brown, Griffiths, Marsh, Tanganga.
Monaco: Mifsud (c), N’Gakoutou-Yapende, Silva, Serrano, Badiashile Mukinayi, Diallo, Zerkane (Bongiovanni 68), Antognelli (Thuram Ulien 85), Alioui, Antonucci, Sylla.
Substitutes (not used): Hagege, Massengo, Utkus, Iglio, Abanda Mfomo.
Goals: Spurs – Bennetts 50; Monaco – Alioui 45.
Yellow cards: Spurs – Roles 15; Monaco – Serrano 13, Antognelli 64.
Referee: Leslie Irvine.
Spurs – S Shashoua – hit post
Monaco – Alioui – scores
Spurs – Sterling – scores
Monaco – Bongiovanni – hit bar
Spurs – P Maghoma – scores
Monaco – Antonucci – saved
Spurs – Skipp – scores
Monaco – Sylla – hit bar
Statistics: Under 19’s: Goals: Edwards-4