Erik Lamela scored twice in the first half for Tottenham as Ben Davies, newly signed from Swansea City, made his debut against Toronto FC in Spurs 3 – 2 win.
Toronto FC 2 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Scorers: Wiedeman, Hamilton Lamela (2), Townsend
Team: Friedel, Naughton, Kaboul, Veljkovic, Davies, Capoue, Mason, Lamela, Lennon, Eriksen, Soldado
Subs: McGee, Fredericks, Walker, Rose, Dawson, Fryers, Falque, Carroll, Ceballos, Townsend, Holtby, Kane
For the second game of their North American tour, Mauricio Pochettino gave Ben Davies his first start for Tottenham against Toronto. He selected the central defensive partnership which played in the second half against Seattle Sounders, Younes Kaboul and Milos Veljkovic, with Kyle Naughton at right-back.
In midfield, Christian Eriksen started, having sat out the opening game. He was partnered by Etienne Capoue, Ryan Mason, Erik Lamela and Aaron Lennon. Roberto Soldado started as striker. It’s good to see Mason being given an opportunity and hopefully Lennon will provide a greater threat on the wing than we saw in the first game. With Eriksen and Lamela starting there is the opportunity for creativity.
The Toronto team managed by Ryan Nelsen who had a spell at Tottenham in 2012, included Jermain Defoe who earlier in the week had spoken appreciatively of his time at White Hart Lane and is clearly impressed with the new manager. He said,
There have been a lot of managers come and go but I think this one is there to stay. With the players they have got at Tottenham, and with that manager, I think they will do well.
Pochettino was expecting another tough game against Toronto. In his preview comments on the club website, he said,
Toronto is a very good team like Seattle with some unbelievable players like Jermain Defoe and we expect another tough game. We want to improve, we want to learn, we want to put our philosophy and style into practice and our objective is to develop this style.
Tottenham dominated the first half with some exciting football as Eriksen, Lamela, Lennon and Soldado combined well to trouble the Toronto defence. Spurs could have been a head before Erik Lamela scored the opening goal after 16 minutes. Lennon left Soldado’s pass and the ball ran to Lamela who scored with a left foot shot.
Spurs continued to create and miss chances until Lamela added his second before the interval. He started the move which included Lennon and Soldado, his run taking him into the box where he met the striker’s pass.
Two goals for Erik Lamela and two assists for Roberto Soldado.
Team: Friedel; Walker, Dawson, Fryers, Rose; Carroll, Holtby; Townsend, Ceballos, Falque; Kane
For the second half, Pochettino made ten changes with only Friedel re-appearing after the interval. Kyle Walker made his first appearance on the tour and his first since injury last March.
In the opening period Spurs continued to create chances but in a more even contest, Toronto were also making an impression on the Tottenham defence who had to be alert to avert the danger.
After 65 minutes, Toronto pulled a goal back through Wiedeman. Five minutes later, Friedel saved Spurs but after 73 minutes Toronto equalised through Hamilton.
Both teams had the chance to score a winner but were wasteful in front of goal. With 5 minutes remaining, Andros Townsend meets Lewis Holtby’s pass and cuts in from the left to fire in a right-foot shot.
It was another entertaining match with some positives from Tottenham especially in the first half.
Speaking after the match, Mauricio Pochetino said,
I’m very pleased because we had a very good performance and another 90 minutes to improve and learn our new style.