Sporting drew 2-2 with English team Tottenham Hotspur in what was the Lions’ final game on their tour on American soil. The two Sporting goals, which came one in each half of the encounter, were scored by Alvalade’s two Chilean stars; Matias netting with a header and Valdes with his left foot.
Although the Green and White starting XI taking to the field for the encounter was totally different to that which began against Manchester City, Sporting was still looking for a win right from the off.
However, just as had happened against Manchester’s blue half, it was the English team that proved the quicker of the two teams in the early stages and created the first dangerous chances of the game. Despite the early pressure, the Lions responded quickly as Salomão won possession back to start a spell of pressure that pegged Tottenham into their area. Sporting could well have scored early on, but Liedson’s shot forced a fine save from Cudicini. Valdes also saw a shot hit a defender, with Matias’ follow up effort hitting the bar.
With Sporting once again dictating play against a pre-season opponent, Tottenham relied on waiting for errors and quick counter attacks. On 24 minutes, Kranjcar found an isolated Robbie Keane who, through against Patrício, put Spurs in front.
Anybody who expected Paulo Sérgio’s men to be reeling following the goal was swiftly proven wrong, as Valdes won possession back in the mid-field to then pass to Diogo Salomão, who put in a cross that Matias Fernandez converted on with a beautiful header to the far post.
Although Tottenham fought their way back into the game before half time, if anybody deserved to be in the lead then it was Sporting.
In the second half, the Lions got off to a good start and, after 3 minutes, Jaime Valdes picked up possession, rounded a defender and unleashed a shot from outside of the area that found its way into the left-hand corner of the net.
With Sporting taking the lead for the first time in the game, the Lions began to slow the pace of the game. However, their London-based opposition equalized as Robbie Keane took advantage of a defensive error to find Obika, who levelled the score board. With the final whistle drawing near, João Pereira was brought down in the area, but the Sporting appeals were waved away.
Tottenham, 2-Sporting, 2
2010-07-25 – Red Bull Arena, New Jersey (United States of America)
Referee: Steven Depiero (USA)
Halftime result: 1-1
Tottenham: Cudicini (Button, 46 m), Hutton, Walker, Corluka, Naughton (Rose, 64 m), Kranjcar (Townsend, 68 m), Huddlestone, Jenas, Bale, Taarabt (Obika, 61 m) and Keane
Coach: Harry Redknapp
Unused substitutes: Smith, Butcher and Mason.
SPORTING: Rui Patrício, Abel (João Pereira, 76 m), Nuno André Coelho, Torsiglieri, Grimi (Evaldo, 76 m), André Santos (Pedro Mendes, 76 m), Miguel Veloso (Maniche, 64 m), Salomão (Pongolle, 46 m (Saleiro, 84 m)), Matias, Valdes and Liedson (capitain) (Djaló, 76 m).
Coach: Paulo Sérgio
Unused substitutes: Golas, Tonel and Carriço.
Cards: yellows, Liedson (39 m) and João Pereira (86 m).
Goals: Robbie Keane (24 m), Obika (70 m); Matias Fernandez (25 m) and Valdes (48 m).