Two weeks ago Tottenham defeated FC Sheriff in the third game in the Europa League group stages. The 2 – 0 win sugggests a comfortable enough evening for Spurs but FC Sheriff caused them problems on a number of occasions and with more clinical finishing there could have been a different result. the return game sees a team from Moldova at White Hart Lane for the second time.
The first occasion when Spurs played a team from Moldova was in the UEFA Cup in 1999. They were drawn to play FC Zimbru who at the time were the dominant club in Moldova, just as FC Sheriff are currently, having won the title 12 times since 2000-01.
1999 UEFA Cup 1st Round (1st leg)
September, 1999 v FC Zimbru (h) Won 3 – 0
This was Spurs’ first European game for seven years but the Moldovans crumbled under early pressure and were two goals down by the interval. The first came Oyvind Leonhardsen after only three minutes. Steffen Iversen took a quick free-kick which caught out Zimbru. Leonhardsen raced onto the ball through the middle, went through one tackle and hit a rising shot into the roof of the net.
Spurs continued to press and missed chances to increase their lead and Iversen had a goal disallowed. Zimbru recovered after their early problems to cause Spurs a few worries in defence but then Cris Perry got his head to a Leonhardsen free-kick to double Spurs’ advantage with 32 minutes played.
In the 54th minute Tim Sherwood scored the third following a corner by David Ginola. Perry played it back in for Sherwood to score.
Such was Chris Perry’s early season form there were suggestions that he should be considered for a place in the England squad.
Spurs drew 0 – 0 in the second leg in Moldova and progressed to the next round with a 3 – 0 aggregate success.
He Played in MoldovaRohan Ricketts is a former Tottenham player and was in the Shamroch Rovers squad who played Tottenham in the Europa League in 2011. Ricketts started in the Arsenal youth system but moved to Tottenham in 2002 having made one appearance in the League Cup.
In season 2003-04, he became a regular member of the team under Glenn Hoddle. He made 28 League and Cup appearances, scoring twice. The following season he made only 6 appearances after the sacking of Hoddle and after a time out on loan he joined Wolves in 2005. After two years there he went to Barnsley and moved on the following year to Toronto FC. After a good first season he fell out of favour with the arrival of home-grown players so he left to play in Hungary, Moldova and Germany.
In August 2010 Ricketts signed for FC Dacia Chişinău in Moldova. In November, however, Ricketts left Dacia as he hadn’t been paid by the club at the time and he went to Germany to take part in trials.Moldova In London
Moldova played England at Wembley last September in a World Cup qualifying game. Kyle walker was in the England team and Jermain Defoe was an unused sub as England won 4 – 0. There were two FC Sheriff players in the Moldova squad for that match.
Tottenham know that a win on Thursday will ensure their qualification to the knock-out stages of the Europa league with two games to play. Andre Villas-Boas will be wanting the team to finish the job as quickly as possible which would allow him to rest players for the final two games in what is a very busy period through November, December and early January with the possibility of two games to play every week.