Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Stade Rennais: (match report)

Spurs under 21’s 1-2 Stade Rennais: (match report)

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On our second day of the Tournoi Europeen Spurs started the day off in fist place in group A, knowing that a win in their final group game against Stade Rennais would book their place in Sunday’s final. Wayne Burnett’s development side appeared to be heading for the final for the second consecutive year, his side had totally controlled the first half against Stade Rennais. Spurs had passed the French side off the park creating a plethora of chances inside the opening 25 minutes of the game. Their slick passing and intricacy inside the final third caused no end of problems for ’ Les rouges et noir. ’ Burnett’s side lead 1-0 at the interval to Connor Ogilvie’s glorious long range strike in the fourth minute. The problem was Spurs should have been about 3-0 up inside the first 20 or so minutes, such was their stranglehold on the game. Less than two minutes into the second half and the game was thrown on its head after a lapse in concentration had seen Jonathan Dinzeyi sent off after giving away a cheap penalty. Nkada converted the spot kick and we never recovered after that, we were understandably disjointed and out of shape. Burnett’s side rarely ventured out of their own half as Rennais grew in confidence with an extra man at their disposal. They controlled the second half and ended up scoring what turned out to be the winning goal when Georginio Rutter netted 12 minutes before the end. That means that Spurs finish their group in third place after picking up four points from their three group games. Burnett’s side will face local team EA Guingamp on Sunday morning in a fifth versus sixth play off game involving both the teams who finished third in their group. That will be Spurs’ final game of the tournament before they jet back to Hotspur way ahead of the start of the domestic season.

Burnett opted to go for the familiar 4-2-3-1 formation for our final group game, giving Charlie Freeman his first start in goal. Whilst fielding a back line consisting of Hinds, Dinzeyi, Statham and the skipper Connor Ogilvie. Duncan and Maghoma sat in front of them whilst an attacking trio of Tracey, Armando Shashoua (his debut at this level) and Edwards all stood behind Troy Parrott who lead the line for Spurs. The team all huddled together before the start of the game (lead by Ogilvie) as they tried to book their place in the final. Stade Rennais got the game underway at an extremely gusty Ploufragan. After a fairly uneventful opening couple of minutes Spurs took the lead in extraordinary fashion through skipper Connor Ogilvie in the fourth minute. The fullbacks glorious opener came out of nowhere, after Tracey had attempted to take the ball into the penalty area he had the ball nicked off of him by a defender. The ball rolled back to the Stade Rennais goalkeeper Théo Louis who was quickly put under pressure by the charging Armando Shashoua. With little time to aim his clearance Louis’s pass ended up coming out to Ogilvie around 20-25 yards out from goal. The left back connected with it first time as the goalkeeper rushed back to try and get in position. Ogilvie’s side footed effort looped gloriously into the back of the net totally stunning the Stade Rennais players in the process. Ogilvie and his teammates celebrated wildly on the sidelines, 1-0. Spurs had totally controlled the game in the opening seven or so minutes, playing some lovely slick football in the process. Lilian Brassier had the French sides first goal attempt of the game after he blazed an effort over from distance. Spurs were quickly looking to add to their lead at the other end of the pitch.

A good attacking move saw Edwards shift the ball to Shashoua he flicked a clever pass into the feet of Tracey on the edge of the penalty area. The forward
let fly on his right foot but ended up seeing his effort blocked by a Stade Rennais defender, the game was being affected greatly by the wind. Spurs’ high line came at a cost after they were caught on the break by Stade Rennais as Billal Mehadji darted into the Tottenham penalty area before hitting a weak effort at goal which was easily gobbled up by Freeman. The so far quiet Marcus Edwards had his first shot on goal a couple of moments later as he tested the not so confident looking Louis with a powerful effort from range. Edwards fizzing effort had the goalkeeper flapping on his line as he managed to beat the ball away to safety. Spurs were almost caught napping at the other end after Mehadji was picked out inside the Tottenham box from a corner kick. The Stade Rennais forward wasn’t picked up by anyone inside the box as he headed an effort narrowly wide of Freeman’s left hand post. Connor Ogilvie was forced into making an important challenge inside the danger zone a couple of moments later, as the French club slowly creeped back into the game. Spurs continued to knock the ball around the park, Maghoma tested Louis with an effort from a tight angle as Spurs tried to extend their lead. Despite their many chances inside the first half Burnett’s side were severely lacking in end product. Only 25 minutes away from a place in the final Spurs got the second half back underway as Burnett brought off the energetic Armando Shashoua for the more tenacious Jamie Bowden. Burnett’s side were knocking the ball around with ease at the start of the second half that’s why it came as complete shock when Spurs gave away a needless penalty less than two minutes into the half. Jonathan Dinzeyi was overplaying the ball on the edge of his own box when Timothé Nkada chased him down. All Dinzeyi had to do was clear the ball but instead he tried to be too clever.

Nkada stole the ball off of the Tottenham defender before taking the ball into the box, the now panicked Tottenham defender was the last man. He sprinted back to Nkada before tripping him from behind leaving the referee with no choice but to award a penalty and give Dinzeyi a straight red card. Clearly distraught by his mistake the 18 year old had his head in his hands, he looked stunned. Nkada stepped up before drilling the ball inside the bottom right hand of corner of the Spurs goal despite Freeman almost managing to get a hand to it, 1-1. Wayne Burnett was going berserk on his touchline and he could be seen barking instructions at his players. Dylan Duncan went in the book a couple of minutes later as Spurs struggled to regain their shape after Dinzeyi’s dismissal. Stade Rennais were in total control, Mehadji fired an effort against the side netting of Freeman’s goal before Bernauer fired over from long range. Meanwhile Burnett’s side were struggling to even get out of their own half, this forced Burnett into bringing on Samuel Shashoua in place of Troy Parrott who had been starved of service. Stade Rennais were continuing to come at us, after latching onto Bernauer’s cross field pass Camavinga burst into the Tottenham penalty area before forcing Charlie Freeman into making an excellent save at his near post. Unfortunately however, the ball rolled out to Rutter who slotted home from close range, 1-2. By this point Spurs were a completely broken team and if anything it was Stadde Rennais who were going to add to their goal tally. The alert Charlie Freeman was called into action once again this time to stop Mehadji from getting on the score sheet. Maxwell Statham made two brilliant late pieces of defending as Spurs tried desperately hard to work the ball out of their own half. Unfortunately a moment of madness from Jonathan Dinzeyi had dealt Spurs a blow in which they couldn’t recover from. The final score from Ploufragan Spurs 1-2 Stade Rennais, Tottenham manager Wayne Burnett could be seen talking with the officials on the final whistle but it was to no avail as Spurs bowed out as third place finishers in group A.

Player reviews: – Charlie Freeman: It was a good performance from the 18 year old on his first start of the tournament. Freeman made a string of fine saves, remaining attentive throughout. The young goalkeeper also dealt well with crosses and set pieces. He was very commanding inside his box. I have a really good feeling that Freeman will go onto have a successful season.
– Tariq Hinds: Hinds was excellent once again, he protected Spurs down that right flank making many important interceptions throughout the game.
– Jonathan Dinzeyi: He had a decent game up until the 46th minute when a lapse in concentration cost him dearly whilst trying to play it out from the back. Nkada punished him and darted into the Tottenham penalty area forcing Dinzeyi into making a challenge which ended up being a foul on the Stade Rennais forward. It wasn’t nice to see Dinzeyi in such as state as the referee awarded a penalty kick and pulled out his red card. It was a game changing moment.
– Maxwell Statham: It was another accomplished performance from Statham in the heart of the Tottenham defence. Once again he made a whole host of important blocks and challenges whilst using his physicality to deal with the Stade Rennais forwards. Following Dinzeyi’s dismissal Statham really upped his game and put in a really impressive performance in such difficult conditions. He was dominant and assertive and rarely put a foot wrong.
– Connor Ogilvie: My motm, see below.
– Dylan Duncan: He had a decent game he did however have a tendency to overplay the ball in the centre of the park which proved quite dangerous on a couple of occasions.
– Paris Maghoma: Despite not feeling 100% I thought Maghoma put in a dominant performance in the centre of the park against Stade Rennais. He did a job good and was tidy with the ball.
– Marcus Edwards: He still looked quite leggy but Edwards remained a potent threat whenever he received the ball in the final third.
– Armando Shashoua: He had a really good first half, linking up well with Parrott and Edwards. The number 10 was a live wire throughout the first half and his high pressing played a part in Ogilvie’s goal. He looked very sharp.
– Shilow Tracey: Decent cameo from Tracey who embarked on some promising runs down the left wing.
– Samuel Shashoua: Shashoua came on as a late sub and had a bright spell against Stade Rennais.
– Jamie Bowden: Kept things ticking in the centre of the park after coming on towards the latter stages of the game.

My man of the match: Connor Ogilvie. Not only did he score a fantastic goal for Burnett’s side, but once again Ogilvie had an excellent game at left back. Unstoppable in the first half Ogilvie caused havoc for the Stade Rennais defenders as he went on countless surging runs down the left wing. Although Stade Rennais managed to quell this threat during the second half, the commanding left back defended heroically and kept good positioning throughout. He also lead by example.

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