Pochettino’s Spurs reign begins with entertaining draw against Seattle Sounders
00:41 20 July 2014
PA Wire/Press Association Images
There was an entertaining start to Mauricio Pochettino’s reign at Tottenham – including three penalties - as the Lilywhites drew 3-3 against host club Seattle Sounders in their first pre-season friendly.
Lewis Holtby put Spurs ahead after 10 minutes at the MLS outfit’s CenturyLink Field stadium, but Gonzalo Pineda levelled from the spot and Osvaldo Alonso then put the home team ahead with a 30-yard thunderbolt in the second half.
However, Tottenham responded as Roberto Soldado won and converted a penalty of his own and, although Tristan Bowen restored Seattle’s lead, Yago Falque equalised with another spot-kick to ensure that honours were shared.
There was a change to Spurs’ original starting line-up as Gylfi Sigurdsson – who is expected to leave the club – was replaced by Tom Carroll.
Tottenham looked shaky at the back at the start and Marco Pappa fired just wide inside the first minute, but it was the visitors who took the lead as Carroll found Aaron Lennon, who knocked the ball down to Harry Kane – and he delivered a superb cross for Holtby to head home.
Sounders dominated the rest of the half, with the former Spurs man Clint Dempsey, ex-Birmingham and Newcastle striker Obafemi Martins, Lamar Neagle and Pineda all going close or testing Spurs’ American goalkeeper Brad Friedel.
The equaliser duly came just after the half-hour mark as Michael Dawson – another player who is thought to be surplus to requirements – was adjudged to have fouled Chad Marshall at a corner, and Pineda chipped the ball home from the resulting penalty.
Dempsey nearly scored against his old club, beating Friedel but seeing his effort cleared off the line by Danny Rose, and the sides entered the break all square at 1-1.
Pochettino made six changes at the interval but Seattle remained unchanged and, four minutes after the restart, Alonso sent a long-range rocket whistling past Friedel and in off the bar.
The lead lasted just six minutes though as Soldado showed fine control to gather Etienne Capoue’s pass and nip in behind Marshall before being brought down by the defender. The referee pointed to the spot for a second time and Soldado levelled the scores at two apiece.
The drama continued in the 79th minute as Sean Okoli got away down the left and crossed for Bowen, who had just come off the bench and was gifted a simple tap-in to put the hosts 3-2 up.
However, Spurs replied quickly again, equalising less than three minutes after falling behind. This time DeAndre Yedlin was penalised for handball in the box and it was Falque who stepped up to beat Stefan Frei, shooting into the bottom right corner.
Both sides pushed for a winner and Frei got down well to save Cristian Ceballos’ low effort with his feet, while the ex-Liverpool man Djimi Traore volleyed over from Alonso’s corner in injury-time, but the scores remained level at the final whistle.