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Tottenham’s Horrendous Record in Penalty Shoot-outs


Spurs’ poor record in penalty shoot-out deciders continued with their Europa League quarter-final exit against FC Basel. They have now lost their last seven attempts at this footballing lottery, not having won since overcoming Peterborough United in the 3rd Round of the FA Cup in 1994. It was ten years earlier that they won their only other penalty decider, a memorable European night at White Hart Lane, against Anderlecht in the UEFA Cup Final.

Tony Parks, Tottenham’s goalkeeping coach and 1984 UEFA Cup Final penalty shoot-out hero. [Photo: Jav The_DoC_66]FA Cup and Carling Cup ties used to turn into marathon tests of endurance with replay after replay until one team came out on top. In season 1952-53 it took three games in the FA Cup 6th Round for Spurs to overcome Birmingham City with a goal from Sonny Walters at the neutral venue of Villa Park. In Spurs successful League Cup run in 1972-73 they had to play Middlesbrough three times before winning 2 – 1 after extra time in the 3rd Round. Two days later they defeated Millwall in the next round. It was a hectic schedule for players in those days.

Now to avoid fixture congestion, the Carling Cup ties are decided on the night with extra time and penalties if necessary while the FA Cup continues to have one replay before resorting to extra time and penalties. European knock-out ties also go to penalties if the away goals rule doesn’t produce a winner.

Tottenham’s first two experiences of this nerve-wracking form of football torture were enjoyable because they came away victorious but the next seven have produced deep disappointment due to defeat.

23rd May, 1984

v Anderlecht (h) [UEFA Cup Final (2nd Leg)]  Draw 1 – 1 aet (2 – 2 on agg.)(Won 4 – 3 on penalties)

UEFA Cup Success – Tony Parks, the Super Hero

Coming to the game all square at 1 – 1 after the away leg Spurs found themselves a goal down and it took an equaliser from stand-in captain Graham Robers to take the game to extra time and penalties. Roberts led by example scoring the first penalty and Tony Parks who was playing in place of Ray Clemence saved the first Anderlecht penalty. Mark Falco, Gary Stevens and Steve Archibald all scored as did the Anderlecht players. At 4 – 3 in Spurs’ favour, Danny Thomas saw his shot saved. The next man for Anderlecht was Arnor Gudjohnsen, father of Eidur, who had replaced Frank Arnesen. Parks dived to his right to save and then set off in celebration around White Hart Lane.

In what was Keith Burkinshaw’s last game as manager, Tottenham were without Captain, Steve Perryman, suspended, Glenn Hoddle, injured, while Ossie Ardiles was only able to play a bit part due to injury.

Team: Parks; Thomas, Roberts, Miller (Ardiles), Hughton; Hazard, Mabbutt (Dick), Stevens, Galvin; Falco, Archibald

Jan. 1994 FA Cup 3rd Round Replay

v Peterborough United (h) Draw 1 – 1 (aet)  Barmby  (Won 5 – 4 on penalties)

Ian Walker [Photo: www.footiewallpapers.com]Having earned a replay with a late Jason Dozzell goal Spurs found Peterborough more difficult than expected. Nicky Barmby put them ahead but United levelled and took the game to extra time and penalties. Spurs scored all five penalties – Barmby, Darren Caskey, David Kerslake, Darren Anderton and Steve Sedgley being successful. Ian Walker proved the hero by saving the fourth Peterborough penalty.

Mar. 1996 FA Cup 5th Round Replay

v Nottingham Forest (h) Draw 1 – 1 aet Sheringham  (Lost 1 – 3 on penalties)

This was the third match in this contest, the first in Nottingham having to be abandoned after fourteen minutes due to snow. At the second time of asking the teams drew 2 – 2 with Chris Armstrong scoring twice. The replay then had to be played on 6th Round day and Forest took the lead inside ten minutes. Teddy Sheringham equalised direct from a free-kick before half-time. In extra time Spurs had a shot cleared off the line and also hit a post so penalties were required to decide the tie. Ruel Fox was the only successful taker for Spurs while Forest goalkeeper, Mark Crossley who had saved a penalty from Gary Lineker in the 1991 FA Cup Final, saved three from Clive Wilson, Ronny Rosenthal and finally Sheringham. Forest scored three from four to progress.

Dec. 2003 Carling Cup 5th Round

v Middlesbrough (h) Draw 1 – 1 aet Anderton  (Lost 4 – 5 on penalties)

Darren Anderton put Spurs ahead after two minutes but what had looked to be a sweet evening for Tottenham turned sour four minutes from the end with a Boro equaliser. It was to become even more bitter when penalties were taken. Both teams scored their first three penalties, Robbie Keane, Stephen Carr and Paul Konchesky for Spurs. Gus Poyet missed and Boro took the lead. Freddie Kanoute scored but Kasey Keller denied Boro. At 4 – 4 Mauricio Taricco sent the goalkeeper the wrong way but saw his shot hit the post. Middlesbrough scored from their next penalty. Even more annoying for Tottenham supporters was the news that they had missed out on a two-legged semi-final against Arsenal.

Dec. 2004 Carling Cup 5th Round

v Liverpool (h) Draw 1 – 1 aet Defoe (Lost 3 – 4 on penalties)

Scoreless after ninety minutes, Jermain Defoe scored for Spurs twelve with minutes remaining in extra time. A semi-final spot seemed secure until three minutes from the end Kanoute needlessly handled from a Liverpool corner to concede a penalty. Liverpool equalised and the game went to penalties. Defoe and Michael Carrick scored the first two penalties for Spurs and Liverpool matched them. Kanoute’s night got worse as his penalty was saved. Paul Robinson pulled off a save to deny Liverpool but Michael Brown shot over the bar. Liverpool went ahead but Reto Ziegler levelled but Liverpool scored their fourth to deny Spurs.

Mar. 2008 UEFA Cup Round of 16 (2nd Leg)

v PSV Eindhoven (a) Won 1 – 0 aet Berbatov (1 – 1 0n agg.)(Lost 5 – 6 on penalties)

Having lost the first leg at home by a single goal Spurs did well to turn the tie round and win in Holland with a Dimitar Berbatov goal. Heurelho Gomes was in goal for PSV and it was his performance that denied Spurs an outright victory by tipping over a header from Darren Bent to take the game to extra time and ensuring penalties with a save from Steed Malbranque in the dying minutes of extra time.

The opening penalties were scored by both sides, Berbatov dispatching his for Spurs. Robinson then gave Tottenham the advantage saving the next PSV penalty and Jamie O’Hara, Tom Huddlestone and Darren Bent all scored. With one shot to win, Jermaine Jenas hit his penalty to the goalkeeper’s left but at a comfortable height allowing Gomes to make the save. PSV levelled, Didier Zokora’s penalty was matched by PSV but Pascal Chimbonda put his wide giving the home the scent of victory which they took.

Mar. 2009 Carling Cup Final

v Manchester United (Wembley) Draw 0 – 0 aet (Lost 1 – 4 on penalties)

Looking to retain the Carling Cup Harry Redknapp’s team found themselves under early pressure but gradually came into the game and United had their goalkeeper, Ben Foster, to thank for keeping them in the game. Both teams had chances to win the game but didn’t take them and the game ended in stalemate with penalties required. United went ahead but substitute Jamie O’Hara’s shot was saved, United added another while Vedran Corluka got Spurs’ first. United scored but David Bentley put his wide and United put their fourth away to claim the trophy and compound Tottenham’s misery.

Sept. 2011 Carling Cup 3rd Round

v Stoke City (a) Draw 0 – 0 aet (Lost 6 – 7 on penalties)

Both clubs fielded weakened teams as the Carling Cup was not as high a priority as either the Premier League or European competition. In a dull match neither side could score, Tottenham’s best period coming either side of half-time, so the match was resolved with penalties. Stoke went ahead and Defoe levelled only for Stoke to hit the bar but Roman Pavlyuchenko missed the target, denying Spurs the chance to snatch the advantage. The next five penalties were all scored by both sides – Andros Townsend, Corluka, Younes Kaboul, Jake Livermore and Tom Carroll all finding the net to make it 6 – 6 (Stoke’s scorers included former Spurs, Peter Crouch and Matthew Etherington). Stoke took the lead and Spurs were beaten when eighteen year old debutant, Massimo Luongo had his shot saved. A difficult experience for a young player as Spurs’ pain of penalty shoot-outs continued.

April, 2013 Europa League Quarter-final (2nd leg)

v FC Basle (a) Draw 2 – 2 aet Dempsey (2) (4 – 4 on agg.) (Lost 1 – 4 on penalties)

Level at 2 – 2 after the first leg, Spurs took the game to extra time when Clint Dempsey scored his second goal on the night with eight minutes remaining. Reduced to ten men for the extra time, when Jan Vertonghen was sent off, Tottenham held out but penalties again brought their downfall. Basel scored four powerful penalties, giving Brad Friedel no chance. Tom Huddlestone took the first penalty which the goalkeeper saved, Gylfi Sigurdsson scored the second but Emmanuel Adebayor put his high and wide.

Research for this article was aided by the match reports on the Spurs Odyssey web-site.