Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Ajax Cape Town: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-0 Ajax Cape Town: (match report)

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A Spurs under 19 side kicked off this years Terborg tournament on Friday evening when they faced South African club Ajax Cape Town in group stage game number one of the tournament. Wayne Burnett’s side battled it out with a very technical Ajax Cape Town side on a warm evening in the east of the Netherlands, and for large periods of Fridays game it was the ` Urban Warriors ‘ who were the more threatening team going forwards however, Spurs did defend excellently well against them. And our back four snuffed out almost all of the danger which came their way. Both teams created chances but it was Spurs who took them. A fine strike from Phoenix Patterson right on the stroke of halftime proved to be the difference between the two sides as Spurs were able to defend against a spirited second half performance from the South African team to go joint top of the Van Egmond group with Brazilian side Flamengo, who they will face tomorrow morning in the first of two group games. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in a 4-2-3-1 formation for their opening group game. Jonathan De Bie started in goal while a back four of Jubril Okedina, Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Dennis Cirkin lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Harvey White anchored the midfield while Dilan Markanday and Phoenix Patterson operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM and Spurs captain Jack Roles, as 18 year old striker Rodel Richards led the line for Burnett’s side. Prior to kick off both sides huddled together, it was the ` Urban Warriors ‘ who got the game underway. Straight from kick off Zaakir Allie tested Jonathan De Bie from long range after he embarked on a surging run through the middle of the pitch. However, De Bie comfortably held Allie’s effort on goal. Dennis Cirkin was on hand to clear Chumani Butsaka’s cross a couple of moments later, but the ball then came out to Allie on the edge of the box and his resulting effort was blocked by the Tottenham left back. Ajax had started the game well and from the resulting corner kick the South African club came close to taking an early lead, after Siyasi Bongolwethu powered Dale Wakefield’s corner narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. The alert Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then did well to cut out Chumani Butsaka’s intended through ball for Ashley Cupido, before the South Africans threatened Spurs once again. After Allie clipped the ball into the path of Cupido down the right hand side of the Spurs box the Ajax centre forward smashed a powerful low effort against the outside of De Bie’s near hand post, it then bounced behind for a goal kick.

After Jack Roles managed to find Dilan Markanday down the right hand side of the Ajax Cape Town box things looked promising for Spurs however, defender Sinawo Topi was able to poke the ball behind before Markanday could get a shot away. Phoenix Patterson’s resulting corner kick was headed behind by Kegan Johannes. A couple of moments later Jamie Bowden managed to chip the ball into Richards in the middle of the oppositions penalty area but the Spurs strikers volleyed effort was held comfortably by Ajax Cape Town goalkeeper Aidan Leak. A couple of minutes later Jonathan De Bie was called into action after a free kick from Chumani Butsaka found its way to Rushwin Dortley at De Bie’s back post however, he managed to hold Dortley’s headed effort on goal. The Spurs goalkeeper then managed to palm away a menacing cross from Patrick Fisher before Sonwabile Mfecane could get to it. At the other end of the pitch, Kegan Johannes was on hand to clear a cross from Jack Roles before Spurs were awarded a free kick in a promising position. Jamie Bowden took it quickly as he passed the ball out to Patterson on the left wing but he ended up whipping the ball right across the face of Aidan Leak’s goal. Dale Wakefield fired an effort wide of Jonathan De Bie’s goal on the turn, after receiving Zaakir Allie’s pass on the edge of the Spurs penalty area, before Jonathan Dinzeyi blocked behind a shot on goal from Mfecane inside the Spurs box. Dale Wakefield’s resulting corner kick caused some panic amongst the Spurs defence. Dennis Cirkin tried to clear the ball but failed and in the end Siyasi Bongolwethu poked the ball narrowly over De Bie’s crossbar. Ajax had been the much better team during the opening stages of the game and Spurs were finding it difficult to deal with their attacking front line. Jubril Okedina managed to clear a cross from Dale Wakefield well, before Roles tried to pull off a one two with Richards on the edge of the Ajax box at the opposite end of the pitch however, Siyasi Bongolwethu managed to intercept it. Spurs started to find their feet again and after Bowden had shifted the ball out to Patterson on the left wing the Spurs winger cut inside and tested Leak with a thumping effort on goal which the Ajax goalkeeper could only parry behind. The resulting corner kick from Harvey White was scrambled out to Jamie Bowden on the edge of the box but the Spurs man fired an effort wide of the goal.

Jonathan Dinzeyi was on hand to clear a cross from Zaakir Allie, before Johannes headed over from Wakefield’s corner. After dispossessing Harvey White Siyasi Bongolwethu fed the ball into the feet of Butsaka who darted forward down the left flank before clipping the ball across the face of De Bie’s goal. Then right on the stroke of halftime Spurs took a slightly surprising lead through Phoenix Patterson. After Ajax had been caught cold playing the ball out from the back, Harvey White seized possession before carefully threading a pass into Patterson down the left side of the Ajax penalty area. Patterson didn’t think he just shot, and his powerful first time effort flew into the far right hand corner of Aidan Leak’s goal, 1-0. That was to be the final piece of action from a highly eventful first half. Wayne Burnett’s side got the second half underway and the young Lilywhites started to move the ball about more quickly during the early stages of the second half. Jack Roles demanded that a penalty should be awarded to Spurs after a cross from Jubril Okedina struck the arm of Khaya Mfecane inside the Ajax penalty area however, Roles’ protests were ignored by the referee. Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then did well to clear a cross from Chumani Butsaka  before Siyasi Bongolwethu fired an effort wide on the turn. The dominant Spurs defender Brooklyn Lyons-Foster then managed to put behind a dangerous cross from Butsaka before Harvey White managed to clear the same players corner kick. Then at the other end of the pitch Phoenix Patterson saw his cross turned behind for a corner by Kegan Johannes before Jamie Bowden had a long range effort blocked behind by Khaya Mfecane. A clearance from Dennis Cirkin at the other end of the pitch came to Sonwabile Mfecane on the edge of the Spurs box but Mfecane ended up blazing an effort well wide of De Bie’s goal. Spurs then made two substitutions in quick succession after Rayan Clarke and Kion Etete we’re introduced in place of Phoenix Patterson and Jack Roles, Jamie Bowden took the captains armband. Ajax Cape Town started to pile the pressure on the Spurs defence as we came towards the end of the 50 minutes. Chumani Butsaka’s effort from long range took a hefty deflection off of Jonathan Dinzeyi before it was gathered by De Bie. Since coming on Notts County striker Etete had become somewhat of a target man and the Spurs players were looking to lump the ball up to the tall 17 year old at every opportunity during the final minutes of the match.

There was a late scramble inside the Tottenham penalty area after Dale Wakefield’s late cross caused a couple of problems, in the end Ashley Cupido tried a over head kick but it was blocked by Jonathan Dinzeyi. Despite their late pressure Wayne Burnett’s side were able to quell the Ajax Cape Town attacking line and hold onto their slender advantage. It was a very good win for Spurs who showed real maturity especially in their defending on Friday evening against a very potent opposition. Tomorrow Spurs will conclude the group stages when they take on both Flamengo and Vitesse Arnhem. I wish the lads all the very best of luck for both of those matches, both of which they will be hoping to win and book their place in this years final.

Player reviews:

  • Jonathan De Bie: It was a good all round performance from the Belgian goalkeeper who only recently turned 19. De Bie made three saves in total on Friday evening, all of which were fairly comfortable ones but important ones nonetheless. The Spurs goalkeeper dealt excellently with crosses and set pieces, and he commanded his penalty area well. Furthermore, De Bie’s was good on the day and he was nice and vocal as well as encouraging to his defence.
  • Jubril Okedina: It was an excellent performance at right back from Okedina who dealt really well with the potent Chumani Butsaka down the left hand side. Butsaka was one of the ` Urban Warriors ‘ best players on the day and it was thanks to the excellent defending and awareness of Okedina which made sure that Butsaka didn’t get on the scoresheet. The 18 year old read the game incredibly well and he made some important defensive interventions.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: My man of the match, see below.
  • Jonathan Dinzeyi: It was a good performance from the 19 year old who operated at LCB on Friday. Dinzeyi brought the ball out well from the back and he was commanding in his defending. Making some important blocks, interceptions and clearances. In addition he complemented RCB Brooklyn Lyons-Foster throughout the match and both players read the game well.
  • Dennis Cirkin: Noticeably a lot more defensive against Ajax Cape Town, Dennis Cirkin performed his duties admirably at left back without going on his usual forward jinking runs down the left flank. Cirkin defended really well and he helped to protect his side of the pitch by making some fine challenges and blocks. The 17 year old saw the danger and he maintained good positioning throughout the game.
  • Jamie Bowden: The 17 year old kept the ball moving from central midfield and he also created some good chances for the young Lilywhites. Often seen getting himself into good pockets of space, Bowden made some good passes and he wasn’t afraid to try his luck on goal. The second year scholar also anchored the midfield well alongside Harvey White.
  • Harvey White: It was a very good performance from the tigerish and alert midfielder who along with Jamie Bowden helped Spurs to win the midfield battle. White was graceful with the ball, making some clever and effective passes. He also broke up play well and it was he who set up Phoenix Patterson’s winning goal towards the end of the first half with a nicely weighted pass.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger didn’t get a lot of the ball particularly during the first half however, he did go on a couple of nice attacking forays during the second half and he did work very hard for the team.
  • Jack Roles: The skipper operated as a CAM but he would often drop deep to receive the ball and initiate chances. Roles’ razor sharp movement and good leadership skills caused the opposition problems.
  • Phoenix Patterson: It was a very impressive performance from the 18 year old out on the left wing. Patterson worked Ajax Cape Town fullback Patrick Fisher hard during his time on the pitch and the tricky Spurs winger was heavily involved in Fridays 1-0 win. Patterson worked so hard to create space and he made some good runs down the channels, often getting in and behind Fisher. After testing Aidan Leak with a thumping effort Patterson would go onto fire home the winner for Spurs on the stroke of halftime after he latched onto Harvey White’s pass inside the Ajax penalty area. Creative and decisive in the final third, it was a really positive all round performance from the second year scholar who netted his first goal since November on Friday evening.
  • Rodel Richards: The hardworking centre forward led the line well, made some good runs and pressed the Ajax defence well before later dropping into the CAM role for the final minutes of the game.
  • Rayan Clarke: The left winger tracked back well after him during his short time on the pitch.
  • Kion Etete: The 17 year old came on towards the end of the game and he held up the ball well for Burnett’s side. He also went on a few good powerful forward runs.

My man of the match: RCB Brooklyn Lyons-Foster had a great game for Wayne Burnett’s side where he was pretty much flawless for the full 50 minutes of the game.  Influential with his pin point forward passing and good vision, the 18 year old North Londoner read the game to perfection alongside the slightly more combative Jonathan Dinzeyi. Lyons-Foster cut out some dangerous Ajax Cape Town attacks and he also managed to get himself into important defensive positions to give himself the best chance of getting to the ball. As a result of this the 18 year old made many an important interception and clearance. He was very classy in everything that he did on Friday, and he was one of the main reasons why Spurs won the game!

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