Spurs under 19’s 1-1 Olympiacos: (match report)

Spurs under 19’s 1-1 Olympiacos: (match report)

Our under 19’s who are managed by Ryan Mason got this seasons UEFA youth league odyssey underway on Wednesday afternoon, when they took on Greek side Olympiacos in group game number one of the competition. It was a tough game for the young Spurs lads who had to contend with the sweltering Greek heat, something which seemed to sap the energy out of us throughout the game. A strong Spurs side which included Troy Parrott took the lead through the Irishman on ten minutes before Spurs would enjoy a dominant spell in the game. However, Olympiacos equalised shortly after the half hour mark through  Georgios Fekkas. The second half was in all honesty a fairly tedious one, and Spurs only created a couple of half decent chances while the home side hit the crossbar late on in the game as both sides had to settle for a point. Spurs lined up in their usual 4-2-3-1 formation with Joshua Oluwayemi starting in goal. A back four made up of Brooklyn Lyons-Foster, TJ Eyoma, Luis Binks and Harvey White lined up in front of him. Jamie Bowden and Paris Maghoma anchored the midfield while Dilan Markanday and Rayan Clarke operated out on the flanks, either side of CAM Troy Parrott. Rodel Richards led the line for Spurs. Olympiacos got the game underway in the afternoon sun and an early risk from goalkeeper Joshua Oluwayemi almost led to him giving the ball away to the high pressing Alexandros Voilis inside the Tottenham penalty area. A couple of minutes later and after receiving a pass from Rayan Clarke, Paris Maghoma would go onto bend an effort wide of the Olympiacos goal from long range. Joshua Oluwayemi punched away Georgios Fekkas’ cross before Spurs took the lead on ten minutes through Troy Parrott. After former West Ham academy player Kristijan Belic gave the ball straight to Rodel Richards the Spurs forward slipped the ball into the feet of Parrott, who burst down the right hand side of the Olympiacos box before keeping his composure and clinically slotting the ball into the bottom left hand corner of the goal, 1-0.

After some good early passing from the visitors Olympiacos came desperately close to drawing level through Alexandros Voilis. After Georgios Fekkas had whipped the ball into the Spurs box from the left flank, Voilis attacked it but his volleyed effort was met by Joshua Oluwayemi who made an excellent reflex save, from point blank range to deny the Olympiacos centre forward. TJ Eyoma then cleared away a cross from Georgios Fekkas as Olympiacos started to really get into the game. Polykarpos Katsavakis then had an effort deflected behind for a corner by Jamie Bowden before Vasilios Sourlis headed over Georgios Fekkas’ resulting corner kick. Giorgios Neofytidis shot wide from long range before TJ Eyoma cleared away Nikitas Nikolis before Joshua Oluwayemi punched away a cross from the same player. Troy Parrott came close to meeting a whipped cross from Harvey White inside the Olympiacos box before Vasilios Sourlis nodded wide a cross from Paraskevas Ntoumanis. A brief cooling break took place before action resumed once again. And once it had resumed Olympiacos took full advantage of a defensive error from Spurs. After TJ Eyoma’s poor back pass to Oluwayemi lacked pace, it was latched onto by Alexandros Voilis who steadied himself as he came forward, before squaring the ball for Georgios Fekkas inside the Spurs box and he cooly slotted home, 1-1. Shortly after the restart Rayan Clarke beat a couple of players down the left flank before entering the Olympiacos box and stinging the palms of goalkeeper Konstantinos Tzolakis with a powerful shot at his near post. After receiving Paraskevas Ntoumanis’s pass inside the Spurs box Georgios Fekkas fired an effort over Joshua Oluwayemi’s crossbar. Spurs were knocking the ball around the park well as we neared halftime. After Dilan Markanday had passed the ball to Paris Maghoma down the left flank the Tottenham midfielder floated a cross into the Olympiacos box but it came off of Troy Parrott’s chest before being gathered by Konstantinos Tzolakis before the referee blew his whistle for halftime. 

Spurs restarted the game. Nikitas Nikolis had a shot blocked by TJ Eyoma before Dimitros Arsenidis fired the ball over Joshua Oluwayemi’s crossbar. A couple of minutes later Arsenidis burst into the Spurs box before firing an effort towards Oluwayemi’s near post but the Spurs goalkeeper blocked it with his feet. A couple of minutes later a nice move saw Troy Parrott and Paris Maghoma exchange passes before the former forced a save out of Konstantinos Tzolakis however, the linesman on the far side flagged for offside. Jamie Bowden was shown a yellow card for pulling back Giorgios Neofytidis before Paris Maghoma had an effort blocked by Paraskevas Ntoumanis, before the same player fired an effort over Oluwayemi’s crossbar from long range. Both sides went in search of that all important winning goal. Dilan Markanday had an effort blocked by Paraskevas Ntoumanis down the right hand side of the Olympiacos box before Jamie Bowden fired an effort wide of goal. TJ Eyoma headed over a Jamie Bowden corner kick before another cooling break took place. Dermi Lusala came onto replace the yellow carded Jamie Bowden as Harvey White slotted into central midfield. Dimitros Arsenidis smashed Oluwayemi’s crossbar with an effort from long range before the Spurs goalkeeper saved Nikitas Nikolis’ long range effort. Tarrelle Whittaker came onto replace Rayan Clarke for the final moments of the game as both sides had to settle for a point. Spurs’ next game in this competition is at home to Bayern Munich, next month. 

Player reviews:

  • Joshua Oluwayemi: The 18 year old goalkeeper made a couple of saves including an excellent one to deny Alexandros Voilis from point blank range during the early periods of the game. Oluwayemi remained vocal throughout and he talked his teammates through the game.
  • Brooklyn Lyons-Foster: Although he isn’t a right back I thought that Lyons-Foster had a solid game in that position yesterday. The 18 year old didn’t allow Olympiacos to have much joy down that side of the pitch.
  • TJ Eyoma: Apart from his costly back pass which led to Georgios Fekkas’ goal I though that Eyoma had a decent game. He was dominant in the air.
  • Luis Binks: One of our better performers was LCB Luis Binks who impressed me with his positioning and reading of the game.
  • Harvey White: White looked comfortable playing at left back before later going onto play in central midfield. 
  • Paris Maghoma: Despite working hard and linking up well with striker Troy Parrott, things didn’t quite come off for the CM yesterday.
  • Jamie Bowden: My man of the match, see below.
  • Dilan Markanday: The right winger went on some decent attacking forays down the right flank.
  • Troy Parrott: Without doubt one of our best players on the day striker Troy Parrott had a good game all round. Parrott took his goal really well and he worked extremely hard for the team, and he was involved in some good passages of play. 
  • Rayan Clarke: The left winger went on one good run down that side of the pitch and he had some nice moments in the game although he wasn’t on the ball a lot.
  • Rodel Richards: The CF worked hard and made some intelligent runs. Richards got the assist for Parrott’s goal.
  • Dermi Lusala: The young fullback showed his quality on the ball and he fed a nice pass through to Troy Parrott during the latter stages of the game.
  • Tarrelle Whittaker: N/A.

My man of the match: Although there weren’t really many standout performers on the day, central midfielder Jamie Bowden had a good game during his 71 minutes on the pitch. Bowden kept things ticking in the middle of the park and he made some intelligent forward passes and decisions. The 18 year old also read the game well and he did a good job at anticipating danger.

Olympiacos: Tzolakis, Ntoumanis, Gkotzamanidis, Belic (Aslanidis 79), Martinis, Neofytidis, Nikolis (Liatsos 67), Fekkas, Sourlis (Syrmis 79), Katsavakis (Arsenidis 46), Voillis (c) (Bullari 65). Subsitiutes (not used): Stournaras, Tsavos.

Spurs: Oluwayemi, Lyons-Foster, Eyoma, Binks, White, Bowden (c) (Lusala 72), Maghoma, Markanday, Richards, R Clarke (Whittaker 89), Parrott. Substitutes (not used): Kurylowicz, Asante, Etete, Matthew Craig, Robson.

Goals: Olympiacos – Fekkas 31; Spurs – Parrott 10.

Yellow cards: Olympiacos – Sourlis 73, Liatsos 90+2; Spurs – Bowden 59.

Referee: Tihomir Pejin (Croatia).

Venue: Olympiacos Training Centre, Piraeus, Athens.

Spurs under 19’s statistics:

Goals: Troy Parrott – 1

Assists: Rodel Richards – 1

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