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Tottenham Hotspur v Paços de Ferreira – UEFA Europa Conference League play-off, second leg – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium – Report
Tottenham Hotspur 3-0 Paços de Ferreira
(Tottenham Hotspur won 3-1 on aggregate)
Sure, it might not be the European stage Tottenham Hotspur had longed for, but Nuno Espirito Santo’s side made short work of Portuguese outfit, Paços de Ferreira, to progress into the UEFA Europa Conference League group stages with the minimum of fuss.
Following a summer of ‘will he or won’t he?’ – He didn’t – Harry Kane, for the time being, committed his immediate future to the Tottenham cause and with game time, coupled with a single-goal deficit to make up from the first leg in Portugal last week, the Lilywhites talisman was lined up for his first start of the campaign and handed the captains armband to boot.
Kane almost handed Spurs the perfect start, sending his first touch a whisker too high after Cristian Romero had picked him out with an exquisite ball forward.
But when provided with another opportunity, courtesy of Bryan Gil’s clever wing-play, the England skipper made no mistake from six yards – Up and running – The crowd roared their approval.
Paços were already hanging on by their fingertips. Jorge Silva scrambled off the line as Ryan Sessegnon looked set to pounce, while the electric pace of Gil and Lucas Moura caused constant concern for the Portuguese visitors.
Paços stopper, Andre Ferreira was relieved to see Gil’s deflected drift the wrong side of an upright. But seconds later, Kane picked up the pieces after Giovani Lo Celso had run into traffic – the outcome never in doubt – Spurs now holding an aggregate advantage.
The busy Gil saw another fizzing attempt rebuffed, while Ferreira stuck out a boot to deny Kane as Spurs continued to dominate after the restart.
It was one-way traffic. Gil drilled a fracton wide, but Lo Celso wasn’t to be denied. His angled free-kick zipping in following the faintest of touchest from Pacos defender Autunes.
Kane received a tremendous ovation when replaced by Heung-Min Son – The South Korean finding Ferreira in his way as he swiftly looked to add a fourth.
Spurs return to Premier League action on Sunday, August 29 when Watford visit the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium (2pm).
Tottenham Hotspur: Gollini, Dier, Romero, Davies, Doherty, Lo Celso, Winks, R Sessegnon (Højbjerg 63’), Gil (Bergwijn 73’), Lucas Moura (Dele 84’), Kane (Son 73’) Subs not used: Reguilón, D Sánchez, Skipp, Austin, John, Scarlett, Paskotsi, Markanday
Booked: Cristian Romero (foul), Bryan Gil (foul)
Goals: Harry Kane 9’, 34’, Giovani Lo Celso 71’
Paços de Ferreira: Magalhães Ribeiro Ferreira, dos Santos Silva, Costa Baixinho, da Silva Ramos, Pacheco Antunes (Ferreira Fonseca 76’), Eustáquio (Valente Santos 76’), de Brito Gonzaga, Guerra Pires, da Silva de Jesus, Pereira Junior (Da Silva Souza 69’), Delgado (Castro Ferreira 69) Subs not used: Reis Lima, Ibrahim, Silva de Jesus (Silva de Jesus
76’), Menezes de Almeida, Bobó Djaló, Alves Bastos, Martins Moreira, Sousa Silva
Booked: Pereira Junior (foul), Pacheco Antunes (foul), Guerra Pires (foul)
Referee: Ruddy Buquet
Assistants: Guillaume Debart and Frederic Haquette
Fourth Official: Amaury Delerue