Spurs under 19’s 2-0 PSV: (match report)
Another mature European performance from Matt Wells under 19 side resulted in Spurs picking up their first win of this season UEFA youth league campaign, after they defeated PSV 2-0 at Hotspur Way on Tuesday afternoon. Wells side dug deep and they showed both the defensive might and attacking prowess needed in order to overcome Ruud Van Nistelrooy’s very technical PSV side. It was far from an easy win for Spurs, it was an enthralling end to end game with chances aplenty at both ends of the pitch. However, Wells young side managed the game well and thanks to an excellent team performance Spurs’ class really showed against PSV, who included former Spurs schoolboy Noni Madueke in their starting 11. Our win over PSV on Tuesday afternoon saw us leapfrog Van Nistelrooy’s side to move up to second in the group, leaving us in great stead of making the knockout stages with just two group games remaining. The first half was played at an extremely high tempo and this resulted in both sides creating a number of chances. After 16 year old centre half Malachi Walcott put Spurs ahead in the fifth minute of time with his bullet header from a Jamie Bowden corner, Spurs took control of the game and had a number of chances to double their lead. However, PSV always posed a threat going forwards and they took a hold of the game for the last 25 minutes of the half, testing our goalkeeper Brandon Austin on multiple occasions. The second half was a quieter affair and Matt Wells side managed the game a lot better from a defensive perspective. Spurs put the game to bed in stoppage time after Troy Parrott finished off an excellent counter attack to spark jubilant scenes of celebration amongst the Spurs players, who now stand a great chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition. Wells opted to go for the 4-3-3 formation for our encounter with Van Nistelrooy’s attacking side. The captain Brandon Austin started in goal whilst a back four of Lyons-Foster, Walcott, Eyoma and Brown lined up in front of him. The midfield trio of Maghoma, Bowden and White played in the middle of the park, whilst wide men J’Neil Bennett and Phoenix Patterson played either side of centre forward Troy Parrott, who led the line.
PSV got the game underway on one of the pristine pitches at Hotspur Way, the Dutch side were cheered on by a whole host of the players parents, who had made the trip to London from Holland to watch their sons’ play. It didn’t take long before the game started to get going and the first decent chance of the match fell to Van Nistelrooy’s side. After pouncing on some sloppy play from Spurs, Joel Piroe picked up the ball before slipping through Belgian Yorbe Vertessen who travelled into the Spurs penalty area. However, the PSV centre forwards powerful low strike flew narrowly wide of Austin’s near hand post. Phoenix Patterson then went on a mazy run at the other end before being intercepted inside the PSV box by defender Andrew Mendonça who ended up putting the ball behind for a Spurs corner. And it was from the following corner kick that Spurs took the lead, after Jamie Bowden whipped a delicious ball into the danger zone, young centre back Malachi Walcott leapt ahead of his marker at the near post before powering a bullet header past PSV goalkeeper Kyan Van Dorp from close range, 1-0. Sekou Sidibe blazed an effort wide from 20 yards out after he latched onto a headed clearance from Harvey White following a corner for the home side. And Sidibe tried his luck on goal again a couple of minutes later after the Belgian cut inside from the left wing before rifling an effort wide of Austin’s goal. Matt Wells side had started to take too many touches in the middle of the park and this left them susceptible to making mistakes in dangerous areas. Brandon Austin did ever so well to tip behind Sidibe’s curling free kick before it bent into the top right hand corner of his goal, as PSV continued to put the Spurs defence under pressure. And the Tottenham goalkeeper made another even better stop just a couple of minutes later to deny Joel Piroe.
A short corner from Sidibe picked out Nigel Thomas whose pacy cross into the danger zone was met by Joel Piroe. The Dutch teenager got behind the ball well before powering a header towards the inside of Austin’s near post. However, the teenager from Hemel Hempstead managed to make a truly outstanding reflex save to push the ball behind for a corner kick. The so far solid TJ Eyoma made an important interception to win the ball off of Vertessen on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, as Wells side got lucky after losing possession in their own half. Then at the other end of the pitch midfielder Paris Maghoma came desperately close to doubling Spurs’ advantage. Maghoma’s powerful dipping effort from 25 yards out appeared to be heading into the top left hand corner of Van Dorp’s goal, but it flashed narrowly wide at the last moment much to the 17 year olds disbelief. Hardworking centre forward Troy Parrott managed to win a free kick out on the left flank shortly afterwards. The ever influential Bowden elected to take it and the 17 year olds pacy delivery was punched frantically clear by Van Dorp just before Eyoma could head home. Paris Maghoma then curled an effort wide from the edge of the penalty area after receiving Jamie Bowden’s pass. Spurs continued to work the PSV defence as they enjoyed a good spell in the game. A well worked move saw Brown pass the ball to Bowden who shifted it into the feet of Maghoma who slipped the ball into Parrott inside the penalty area. However, the Irishman took one touch too many inside the box before having his shot blocked by a PSV defender. J’Neil Bennett then had an effort on goal deflected wide a couple of moments later before Patterson cut inside from the left wing before firing the ball straight at Rico Zeegers. Jamie Bowden then had to be alert to clear Joel Piroe’s free kick at the other end of the pitch as both sides tried to catch each other on the break. Left back Jaden Brown picked up the first yellow card of the game shortly afterwards, after he cynically stopped Zeegers from breaking down the wing, an area of the pitch that the visitors were constantly trying to catch us out on.
Spurs goalkeeper Brandon Austin then had a nervy moment after he kicked the ball straight at Nigel Thomas inside the Spurs box. Luckily for Austin the ball bounced straight back into his arms. Spurs’ tempo had dropped significantly during the final stages of the half and PSV had now taken control of the game. A good darting run from Thomas down the left resulted in him squaring the ball to Vertessen in the centre of the Spurs box. The Belgian left the ball for Piroe whose powerful low effort on goal was heroically blocked on the line by the sliding Malachi Walcott. PSV came desperately close to drawing level once again after Thomas played in Vertessen who travelled into the Spurs box where he found himself one on one with Austin. However, the Spurs goalkeeper produced a magnificent save with his feet to prevent Vertessen’s powerful low effort from finding the back of the net, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Spurs got the second half underway and we were joined by two familiar faces Mauricio Pochettino who viewed the game from the stands and one Jan Vertonghen who was standing behind me. PSV started the half sharply and a good incisive move right at the beginning of the half resulted in Sidibe squaring the ball for Vertessen in the centre of the Spurs box from out on the left flank. However, the Belgian centre forward dragged his first time effort across the face of Brandon Austin’s goal. A crunching sliding challenge from Nigel Thomas then drew a yellow card from Northern Irish referee Ian McNabb (who put in one of the best referring performances that I have seen in a long time!). Bennett however, felt that Thomas’ foul warranted more than a yellow card and he began to protest to McNabb but Maghoma smartly told him to calm down and Bennett left it at that. Attacking midfielder Paris Maghoma had an effort blocked by Tijn Daverveld before Wells made a slightly surprising change in the 55th minute after he brought off the impressive Jamie Bowden for Tashan Oakley-Boothe in the centre of the park.
J’Neil Bennett nodded an effort at goal wide from Harvey White’s cross before the Tottenham midfielder manage to head the ball towards Parrott on the edge of the penalty area, but the centre forward poked it well wide of goal. Van Nistelrooy’s PSV side had now changed their tactics and they had started to be a lot more direct in their play. Armando Obispo curled a free kick wide from range. The resulting goal kick from Austin came all the way to Bennett at the other end of the pitch as the young winger took the ball into the PSV box, before trying to take it around Van Dorp. However, the 16 year old was taken out by the PSV goalkeeper and no penalty kick was given by McNabb to the amazement of the Tottenham forward. Spurs went on a good counter attack from a PSV corner a couple of minutes later as Oakley-Boothe passed the ball out to Maghoma who exchanged passes with Parrott as they broke forwards. The latter ended up leaving the ball for Patterson down the left hand side of the PSV box, and the Scotland under 19 international forced a good save from Van Dorp with a powerful effort at his near post. Patterson was withdrawn moments later in place of the more direct Dilan Markanday. Bennett had an effort on goal blocked by Dennis Vos after he had cut inside from the left, before the visitors went on a dangerous attack down the other end. After Vertessen passed the ball down the right wing for substitute Zakaria Aboukhlal the Dutch under 19 international advanced forward before blazing an effort over Austin’s crossbar. Paris Maghoma was replaced by Jack Roles shortly afterwards as the Cyprus under 21 international slotted into the centre of midfield alongside Oakley-Boothe and White. The game had started to go flat, Oakley-Boothe blocked Rico Zeegers effort from long range before Austin managed to hold Vertessen’s headed effort on goal after he had met Dennis Vos’ cross inside the box. Brown went on a darting run through the middle shortly afterwards before being closed down by Armando Obispo on the edge of the PSV box.
Van Nistelrooy’s side were presented with a golden chance minutes later after Harvey White passed the ball straight to Vertessen, who drove past Walcott before entering the Spurs penalty area and dragging an effort across goal. J’Neil Bennett then received a yellow card for a foul on his former Spurs under 16 teammate Noni Madueke, and it was from the following free kick that came the final and most important goal of the game. The newly introduced Damian Timan’s free kick was headed away to Roles on the edge of the penalty area by White. Roles looked up before passing the ball out to Bennett on the left flank and the speedy winger used to his pace to dart past Timan before continuing down the left flank, and all the way to the byline before squaring the ball for Parrott who had made a run into the middle of the PSV penalty area. The Dubliner made no mistake from close range as he tapped home to secure the win for Matt Wells side, 2-0. It was a brilliant counter attack from Spurs which was executed with such class and precision. In the end it was a very mature performance from Spurs who have now moved up to second place in the group with six points to their name. The young Lilywhites penultimate group game is at home to Inter Milan at the end of this month. Spurs are now in with an excellent chance of progressing to the knockout stages of the competition.
- Brandon Austin: My motm, see below.
- Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: The second year scholar had a sterling game at right back where he protected that side of the pitch so well. As always Lyons-Foster’s reading of the game was second to none, and he was intelligent both in and out of possession. Keeping left winger Nigel Thomas in check for the majority of Tuesday’s game, the defender from Islington, north London didn’t put a foot wrong, and he was so disciplined in defence, with his many well timed interceptions and headed clearances. What I also really liked about the 17 year olds performance was how often he would give out advice to his teammates, particularly when they were in too much of a rush to take a throw in during the latter stages of the game. It’s little things like that which make you appreciate just how good his all round ability as a defender is, even when he is not playing in his natural position of central defence. Hopefully he will play in that position for our under 18’s in their premier league cup game against Swansea on Saturday.
- Malachi Walcott: The 16 year old who operated at rcb put in a heroic performance for Matt Wells side. The youngest player in the Spurs side, Walcott put in an excellent defensive performance and he proved to be crucial to Spurs picking up all three points. After scoring a fine header to open the scoring inside the first five minutes of the game, Walcott made some crucial interventions at the other end of the pitch. He made a spectacular goal saving block on the line (something which he is a specialist at doing!) as well as making a number of important and well timed interceptions throughout the game. Furthermore, the England youth international was dominant in the air and he won the vast majority of aerial duels. He worked well alongside TJ Eyoma who operated at lcb. Walcott has now linked up with the England under 17 team for a tournament in Ireland.
- TJ Eyoma: The England youth international put in an impeccable performance at lcb. Eyoma did his job very well like his younger centre back partner Walcott and the England under 19 international hardly ever put a foot wrong. He read the game very well and maintained good positioning throughout the match as he kept the potent Vertessen in check. You really couldn’t fault Eyoma’s performance in anyway. I would be very surprised if Eyoma wasn’t included in the England under 19 squad for the forthcoming international break.
- Jaden Brown: The left back had a good game and he impressed me with his many galavanting runs down the left flank, as well as his overall defending against the speedy Sekou Sidibe who was probably PSV’s best player on the day.
- Jamie Bowden: The words outstanding and Jamie Bowden seem to go together like two peas in a pod. And that is the exact word that I would use to describe the classy 17 year old midfielders performance against PSV on Tuesday in the UEFA youth league, despite the fact that he only completed 55 minutes of the game. Bowden was his usual classy self, he was both expressive going forwards and defensively disciplined. The Londoner who has unbelievably still not been called up to represent Ireland at youth level got the assist for Walcott’s opener after whipping a delicious corner kick into the box. Bowden dictated play from the middle of the park for the remainder of the half and he made a couple of really good passes and was constantly involved in our attacks. I was quite surprised that he was brought off so early on in the second half, but perhaps it is to keep him fresh for our important Checkatrade trophy game against Portsmouth next week.
- Harvey White: On his first start in this competition the inform 17 year old put in a really assured performance in the centre of the park. White was the most defensive and deep lying of our three central midfielders. The Maidstone born White adapted well to the game and he essentially performed a very Kante-esque role. White always made safe short passes and in the absence of Oliver Skipp he helped to recycle possession and break up play. He showed good stamina and understanding of the game and as a result he played a big part in our win over the Dutch side.
- J’Neil Bennett: Although Bennett started out on the right wing he would later switch sides with Patterson. The speedy 16 year old gave a good account of himself down the channels and a fine performance from the former QPR schoolboy was capped off with an excellent solo run and assist for Parrott’s late goal. Bennett showed excellent late stamina to get away from Timan down the left wing and run the whole length of the pitch before squaring the ball for Parrott to convert from inside the penalty area.
- Paris Maghoma: Maghoma started the game in the middle of a midfield three and the 17 year old was the most advanced of the three midfielders. Maghoma was prominent going forwards and he linked up well with the likes of Parrott and Bennett. Maghoma was particularly threatening during the first half and he had quite a few shots on goal, and was always positive with the ball at his feet. Once again Maghoma made some excellently timed runs in and behind the PSV defence.
- Phoenix Patterson: Starting out on the left wing Patterson had a good game for Matt Wells side. Patterson went on some promising weaving runs and would often look to cut inside onto his right foot. Patterson was replaced by Markanday in the 69th minute.
- Troy Parrott: The 16 year old led the line superbly against PSV, everything from his hold up play to positioning and well timed runs through the middle were all top class. Parrott was sharp and his quick feet and spacial awareness helped to create openings for his teammates. The hardworking and high pressing Dubliner was rewarded for his efforts with a well deserved goal in second half stoppage time. Parrott made an excellent run from his own box all the way into the PSV box to tap home Bennett’s cross to secure the points for Spurs. His work rate is absolutely tremendous and it’s an aspect of his game which will really impress Pochettino and his coaching hierarchy.
- Tashan Oakley-Boothe: The substitute who came on in the 55th minute of the game to replace Jamie Bowden in the middle of the park, gave the side a different edge to their game. Oakley-Boothe closed down the PSV players well and he helped Spurs to control the midfield. This helped Spurs to see out the game.
- Dilan Markanday: He was a lot more direct than Patterson was out on the right wing however, Markanday didn’t see much of the ball during his time on the pitch despite his best efforts to get forward.
- Jack Roles: Although Roles was only on the pitch for a short time the midfielder played a part in our second goal of the game by picking our Bennett on the left wing, before the winger went on a long surging run.
My man of the match: Brandon Austin. The skipper made four saves in total against PSV, three of which could only be described as world class. Those three excellent saves made by the England youth international in the first half defined the game, and ultimately ensured that Spurs got all three points. Commanding and effective at dealing with set pieces and crosses, Austin’s kicking was also good on the day. However, the skipper made three decisive saves in the game. The first being the one to divert Sidibe’s curling free kick from nestling inside the top right hand corner of the goal. The second was an incredible reflex save to somehow deny Joel Piroe’s bullet header from hitting the back of the net. Not only did Austin show excellent reflexes to make the save, he also got a very strong hand on the ball to palm it away from danger. The final decisive save that he made was the one to prevent Vertessen from scoring a one on one. Austin made a smart stop with his feet to deny the prolific Belgian centre forward. It was an excellent all round goalkeeping performance from the 19 year old as he continues his excellent start to the 2018/19 season.
Spurs: Austin (c), Lyons-Foster, Brown, White, Walcott, Eyoma, Bennett, Bowden (Oakley-Boothe 55), Parrott, Maghoma (Roles 78),Patterson (Markanday 69). Substitutes (not used) Kurylowicz, A Shashoua, Binks, Richards.
PSV Van Dorp, Zeegers, Daverveld, Obispo, Vos, Mendonça (Kjolo 46), Sidibe (Aboukhlal 69), Sadilek (c), Vertessen, Piroe (Madueke 57), Thomas (Timan 75). Substitutes (not used): Delanghe, Kuisch, Antonisse.
Goals: Walcott 5, Parrott 90+2.
Yellow Cards: Spurs – Brown 36, Bennett 90+1; PSV – Sadilek 48, Zeegers 87.
Referee: Ian McNabb (NIR).
Venue: Hotspur Way, Enfield.
Spurs under 19’s statistics 2018/19:
Goals scored: Jack Roles – 1
Rodel Richards – 1
Paris Maghoma – 1
Jaden Brown – 1
Malachi Walcott – 1
Troy Parrott – 1
Assists: Jamie Bowden – 3
Troy Parrott – 2
J’Neil Bennett – 1
Clean sheets: Brandon Austin – 1