Shkendija 1-3 Tottenham: Son and Kane allow hitting while Spurs book play-off at home against Maccabi
Shkendija 1-3 Tottenham: Son Heung-Min and sub Harry Kane allow hitting while Spurs book home play-off against Maccabi Haifa in Europa League
- Son Heung-min and Harry Kane performed again when necessary to help Tottenham out of trouble
- The duo played in the 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, with Son with four sacks and Kane on goal
- They both scored again in the last 20 minutes as Spurs advanced to a play-off against Maccabi next week
- Erik Lamela had put them in the front early, but they were pinned back by a nice blow from Valmir Nafiu
Five goals on the south coast, a surprising evening off in East London and progress in North Macedonia, but not without shock as Tottenham navigate their maze of matches.
Erik Lamela put Spurs ahead within five minutes and yet they were in serious danger of losing their way when Shkendija conjured a fantastic equalizer in the second half.
Jose Mourinho called Harry Kane, Lucas Moura and Giovani Lo Celso off the bench and his trio of A-listers helped secure a place in the Europa League play-off against Maccabi Haifa, in London on Thursday.
Harry Kane completed the victory with a powerful header from a Son Heung-Min cross in the 79th minute
Overall, it’s been a good week for Mourinho, with momentum rolling after defeating Everton on the opening day of the Premier League season, and Newcastle after that, on Sunday.
His forwards are among the goals scored and, while they should have been more clinical in Skopje, Tottenham are alive in all competitions as they wait for the EFL to decide what to do about their Carabao Cup match in Leyton Orient.
This had the hallmarks of a European walk when Lamela collected a pass from Son Heung-min in an empty penalty area and hissed the ball past goalkeeper Kostadin Zahov for his first goal since January.
Son Heung-Min scored the second goal by redirecting the rebound after Lucas Moura’s shot was saved by the goalkeeper
Mourinho’s team dominated possession against timid Shkendija and created a plethora of opportunities before half time without extending the lead.
Toby Alderweireld climbed high above two defenders to head wide from a corner and Serge Aurier missed the goal with a bad header at the front post from another angle.
Son struggled to stay sidelined, and Dele Alli was heavily involved and seemingly determined to impress on his first appearance since he was kicked out against Everton during halftime of day one of the Premier League season.
Shkendija’s Valmir Nafiu fired a 20-yard drive into the top corner for the tying run in the 55th minute against Tottenham
Alli joined on a cross from Aurier, but was unable to beat Zahov and saw another attempt fail after a strong and direct run.
Lamela forced another save shortly after the break and failed to connect when Harry Winks pecked him in front of goal with a clipped pass from midfield.
Mourinho strolled down the sidelines in his open-necked shirt, barking positive messages, but painfully aware of the inability to find the second goal left his team vulnerable.
Winger Erik Lamela gave the visitors an early lead in North Macedonia with a controlled finish in the net
The worst of his fears were realized when Shkendija conjured an equalizer with a fierce blow from Valjmir Nafiu.
Spurs were complacent as they failed to stop the threat and the team that finished third in Macedonia’s shortened top flight last season passed the ballfield from left to right.
When the movement reached Nafiu, he took a touch and hit a sharp ride in the top corner from just outside the area.
Joe Hart had barely touched the ball and yet he was pecking the ball out of the net on his Tottenham debut.
Son Heung-min defeated Erik Lamela, who chose his spot after being left unmarked in the penalty area in the fifth minute.
Confidence rose by the Shkendija players and moments later they almost caught Spurs at half time.
Mourinho had seen enough and turned to his replacements. Alli was one of the replacements. Both Lamela and Kane missed excellent chances with headers before Son scored the second.
Zahov parried a fierce shot from a corner from Moura and Son picked up the rebound and swept the ball high into the net.
Kane scored the third inning on a cross from Son. Panic over and Tottenham move on. It has been more than 10 years since they failed to reach the group stage of a European campaign.
Tottenham midfielder Dele Alli returned to the base group after being limited to just 45 minutes this season
The Tottenham midfielder came close to scoring twice in the first half, but was replaced after the home side equalized.
Tottenham winger Steven Bergwijn tries his way through the Shkendija defense on Thursday evening in the first half.
Jose Mourinho’s side enjoyed most of the ball possession, but they ran into problems briefly after Shkendija equalized
Goalkeeper Joe Hart made his debut for Tottenham after coming from Burnley this summer