Spurs under 21’s 2-0 RC Strasbourg: (match report)
Our under 21’s final group game of the Tournoi Europeen ended in them beating French side RC Strasbourg 2-0 on Saturday evening as Spurs finished in second place in group B. It was a game in which Spurs dominated possession in and just like in the Caen game earlier in the day, they played some attractive attacking football. Kazaiah Sterling and Shilow Tracey netted Spurs’ goals. Wayne Burnett’s side lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation as Kacper Kurylowicz started in goal, while a back four consisting of Rayan Clarke, Jubril Okedina, Jonathan Dinzeyi and Maxwell Statham sat in front of him. Elliot Thorpe and Paris Maghoma partnered up in central midfield while Shilow Tracey and Rodel Richards operated out on the flanks either side of CAM Dilan Markanday. Captain Kazaiah Sterling led the line once again for Spurs. Wayne Burnett’s side got the game underway and it was the young ‘ Lilywhites ‘ who felt that they should have had an early penalty after Dilan Markanday was tripped in the Strasbourg penalty area by Papu Mendes. Spurs were dominating possession during the opening stages of the game and they were knocking the ball around the park nicely. Jérémie Branca fired an effort narrowly over Kacper Kurylowicz’s crossbar from long range before Spurs attacked Strasbourg down the opposite end of the pitch. Rodel Richards passed the ball to Kazaiah Sterling down the left side of the Strasbourg penalty area and he pulled the ball back for Richards who had made a run into the centre of the box however, his effort deflected off of Léo Keller before going behind for a corner kick. Dilan Markanday had a hopeful cross gathered by Louis Pelletier shortly afterwards as Spurs continued to see more of the ball. A good run from Dilan Markanday through the middle of the park ended in the skilful forward passing the ball out to Tracey who sprinted down the right hand side of the Strasbourg box before smashing the ball against Louis Pelletier’s crossbar. Strasbourg then came desperately close to taking the lead through Benjamin Besic.
After Cawdy Williams robbed Paris Maghoma of possession he threaded a nice pass through to Besic down the right side of the Spurs box. However, he was met by the outrushing Kurylowicz who closed down his angles and made an impressive save to deny Besic, in what was the final piece of action from the first half. Strasbourg restated the game and they managed the first goal attempt of the second half after Souhaïl Labyad curled an effort over Kurylowicz’s crossbar from the edge of the Tottenham penalty area. Spurs then took the lead through Kazaiah Sterling who netted his third goal of the tournament to put Spurs ahead. After Shilow Tracey passed the ball to Dilan Markanday on the right flank the tricky wide player darted forwards before testing Louis Pelletier with a powerful curling effort. The Strasbourg goalkeeper could only parry Markanday’s effort and Kazaiah Sterling was then able to tap the ball home, 1-0. Maxwell Statham was shown a yellow card shortly afterwards for pulling back Stanley Lohoues before Pavel Obradovic blasted over from the following free kick. Wayne Burnett brought off Kazaiah Sterling for Kion Etete shortly afterwards. The Nottingham born striker took the captains armband. Stanley Lohoues poked over Papu Mendes’s cross shortly afterwards as Strasbourg tried to get back into the game. However, any route back into the game was quickly extinguished after Spurs doubled their lead through Shilow Tracey shortly afterwards. After Shilow Tracey poked the ball off of Maxime Bastian he darted forward down the right flank and into the Strasbourg box where he sprinted past Jerémié Branca before impressively firing the ball into the bottom right hand corner of the goal, 2-0. The Tottenham goal scorer was replaced by Tariq Hinds shortly afterwards. After receiving the ball from Tariq Hinds, Dilan Markanday had an effort blocked by Jerémié Branca on the edge of the Strasbourg penalty area. Rodel Richards was shown a yellow card for a late challenge on Cawdy Williams a couple of minutes later.
Strasbourg substitute Omar El Manssouri had a late shot blocked by Dilan Markanday before it was gathered by Kacper Kurylowicz as Spurs held onto record a comprehensive 2-0 victory. Tomorrow afternoon Spurs will take on Stade Brestois in a third place play off.
- Kacper Kurylowicz: The 17 year old made a hugely important early save to deny Benjamin Besic which proved to be pivotal. Apart from that however, Kurylowicz didn’t have much else to do although it is worth noting that he was very vocal and his distribution was good.
- Rayan Clarke: It was a good performance from Rayan Clarke at right back. He was competent and he read the game well while also going on some good attacking forays down that side of the pitch.
- Jubril Okedina: It was a very solid performance from the RCB alongside Jonathan Dinzeyi. Okedina didn’t put a foot wrong and he was excellent in the air while also bringing the ball out well from the back.
- Jonathan Dinzeyi: Like Okedina the slightly more experienced centre half had a very strong game at the back. He was commanding and he made some important defensive interventions.
- Maxwell Statham: My man of the match, see below.
- Elliot Thorpe: Operating in central midfield for today’s game, the teenager from county Cambridgeshire filled in really well for Armando Shashoua. Thorpe performed his duties diligently in the middle of the park and along with his crisp passing and almost ghost like movement, he chipped in with some important defensive work.
- Paris Maghoma: Like Thorpe the midfielder had a good all round game and he helped to link defence with attack.
- Shilow Tracey: The 21 year old made a big impact on Saturday’s game with his many powerful and purposeful forward runs down the right flank. His pace and his directness caused huge problems for the Strasbourg defence and Tracey took his goal really well.
- Dilan Markanday: It was a good performance from the CAM who chipped in with an assist for Kazaiah Sterling’s opener. Markanday went on some good mazy runs through the middle of the park.
- Rodel Richards: The left winger had a strong first half and he linked up well with the centre forward Kazaiah Sterling during his time on the pitch.
- Kazaiah Sterling: Quick, powerful and led the line well. Both him and Tracey switched well and he never gave up the chase. Sterling took his goal well.
- Kion Etete: N/A.
- Tariq Hinds: N/A.
My man of the match: Despite playing out of position at left back Maxwell Statham gave a really good account of himself for Spurs on Saturday evening. Operating at left back Statham looked very comfortable on the ball and he made a number of timely interceptions. He was also dominant in the air. It was an impressive all round performance from the versatile 18 year old who managed to keep Strasbourg winger Souhaïl Labyad in check.
Spurs (v RC Strasbourg): Kurylowicz, R Clarke, Statham, Maghoma, Dinzeyi, Okedina, Tracey (Hinds 47), Thorpe, Sterling (Etete 44), Markanday, Richards.