Spurs Under 19’s 1-2 Sporting Clube de Portugal: (match report)

Spurs’ Under 19 side welcomed Portuguese side Sporting Clube de Portugal to Hotspur Way on Wednesday afternoon, for a UEFA Youth League group-stage fixture. It was the second last such group-stage fixture for both sides in the 2022/23 edition of the competition, and unfortunately Spurs lost the game 2-1, meaning that they are now officially out of the competition, with one game still to play. Spurs lined-up with Aaron Maguire in goal, while George Abbott, Alfie Dorrington, Archie Chaplin and Jahziah Linton started in defence. Captain Nile John and Alfie Devine started in central midfield, with Yago Santiago and Romaine Mundle starting out on the flanks, either side of CAM Jamie Donley. Will Lankshear, on his first start for the club, led the line for Spurs, who got the game underway.

The game couldn’t have started any better for Spurs, who took an early lead through Will Lankshear. After Sporting Clube de Portugal captain Renato De Palma Veiga had given the ball away to Lankshear inside the Sporting Clube de Portugal box, Lankshear showed good composure, before calmly finding the bottom left corner of the goal, 1-0. Sporting Clube de Portugal responded well however, and an effort from Diogo Gomes Cabral from the right side of the Spurs box, was saved well by Aaron Maguire. A couple of minutes later Afonso Bastardo Moreira volleyed wide Diogo Gomes Cabral’s cross away from the Spurs goal. At the other end of the pitch George Abbott hit an effort over the goal, before Marco Sousa Cruz headed just wide from Afonso Bastardo Moreira’s corner-kick. Aaron Maguire gathered a ball well inside his penalty area, shortly after. George Abbott blocked an effort well inside the Spurs box, before a good Sporting Clube de Portugal move resulted in an equalising goal.

Marco Sousa Cruz found the left corner of the Spurs goal with a curling effort from inside their penalty area, after receiving a pass, 1-1. Archie Chaplin did well to divert Samuel Loureiro Carvalho Justo’s effort inside the Spurs penalty area. Nile John and George Abbott both blocked efforts well in quick succession, before Jahziah Linton was shown a yellow card after making a foul. Jamie Donley hit an effort wide of the Sporting goal from inside their penalty area, after receiving a pass from Alfie Devine. Jahziah Linton then blocked Diogo Gomes Cabral’s late effort, before the referee sounded his whistle for half-time. Sporting Clube de Portugal got the second half underway, after Spurs had made a change, as Maxwell McKnight came on to replace Jahziah Linton. Jaden Williams came on to replace Will Lankshear soon after, before Sporting took the lead for the first time in the game. Alfie Dorrington had initially done really well to block Rodrigo Duarte Ribeiro’s effort inside the Spurs box, but Marco Sousa Cruz managed to get on the ball, and his effort went in off Aaron Maguire’s left post, 1-2.

Spurs made a double change as Yago Santiago and the injured Alfie Dorrington were replaced by Damola Ajayi and Mikey Moore, respectively. Jamie Donley and Romaine Mundle were both shown yellow cards, before Spurs made their final change of the game. As Callum Olusesi came on to replace Romaine Mundle. Aaron Maguire saved Pedro Baldé Sanca’s low effort from the edge of the Spurs penalty area, in what was the next chance in the match. Renato De Palma Veiga hit a powerful effort wide of the Spurs goal, before Pedro Baldé Sanca hit an effort wide of Aaron Maguire’s goal, from the left side of the Spurs box. The alert Aaron Maguire, who was having a good game, saved Diogo Travassos’ free-kick, and then at the other end of the pitch Mikey Moore had a good effort from the right side of the Sporting penalty area saved by Diego Calai Silva. Jamie Donley, who was now playing in central defence, blocked a late Sporting effort well, before the referee sounded his whistle for full-time. Spurs’ final game of the competition takes place next Tuesday, when they face Olympique de Marseille, in Marseille.

Player reviews:

  • Aaron Maguire: The Spurs goalkeeper and first year professional had a good, solid game in goal for Spurs. Maguire made a good save early on in the game, and he would later make some good decisions during the game.
  • George Abbott: My man of the match, see below.
  • Alfie Dorrington: The 17 year old central defender had in my opinion an impressive game. The England Under 18 international was good on the ball, but his reading of the game and impression on the game inside Spurs’ half of the pitch, was good and he read the game really well. He had to leave the pitch in the second half because of injury, but hopefully he will return soon.
  • Archie Chaplin: The first year scholar worked well alongside the slightly more experienced Alfie Dorrington in central defence, and like Dorrington, he had quite a lot of defending to do during the match.
  • Jahziah Linton: The left-back had quite a bit of defending to do during the first half, but after receiving a yellow card during the first half he was replaced by Maxwell McKnight at half-time.
  • Nile John: The Spurs captain played as the deepest of the two central midfielders, and he tried to keep the ball moving in the central areas of the pitch, while also doing quite a bit of defending.
  • Alfie Devine: Always trying to be inventive on the ball and be creative with it, Devine went on some good surging forward runs with the ball from midfield.
  • Yago Santiago: The forward started the game out on the right flank, and during the first half in particular he was particularly creative with the ball, at times.
  • Jamie Donley: Starting the match in the CAM position, Jamie Donley looked to link the play with Will Lankshear. Following Alfie Dorrington’s injury during the second half, Donley finished the match in central defence. He did well in central defence.
  • Romaine Mundle: The winger started the game on the left flank, and he took most of Spurs’ set-pieces during the match.
  • Will Lankshear: The centre-forward took his early goal well, and he worked very hard off the ball during his time on the pitch.
  • Maxwell McKnight: The substitute came on for the start of the second half, and while he had quite a bit of defending to do, he did well defensively, in my opinion.
  • Jaden Williams: The second half substitute came on to play out on the right flank initially, before the finishing the game in the centre-forward position.
  • Damola Ajayi: The second half substitute went into midfield during his time on the pitch.
  • Mikey Moore: The second half substitute impressed at times during his time on the pitch as a winger.
  • Callum Olusesi: Callum Olusesi came on in the match as a late substitute.

My man of the match – George Abbott. The central midfielder once again started at right-back, and in my opinion I thought that he did really well. The 17 year old was tenacious, kept good defensive positioning, and he made some excellent blocks. Abbott’s reading of the game was as always very good, and he looked really confident against Sporting Clube de Portugal.

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