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UEFA Youth League: Marco Cruz’s brace ends Tottenham’s UYL hopes 

Sporting CP celebrating goal

Tottenham Hotspur’s UEFA Youth League campaign came to an end today as two goals from Marco Cruz was enough for Sporting Lisbon to win 2 – 1. This result confirmed elimination for Wayne Burnett’s side.

Despite Will Lankshear giving Tottenham an early lead. Sporting Lisbon fought back from a goal down to win the match. As the group stands Sporting Lisbon are through to the knockout stages alongside Frankfurt who won their match 2 – 0 against Marseille.

Spurs went into this game knowing that only a victory would give them a chance of qualifying to the last 16. Whereas, Sporting Lisbon only needed a point to progress beyond the group phase.

Tottenham Hotspur made the best possible start as Will Lankshear gave them an early lead in the 1st minute of the match. Sporting CB tried to play out from the back and their captain Renato Veiga gave the ball away to Lankshear. He then had the composure to calmly slot into the bottom left corner to give his side the lead.

Will Lankshear on the ball [Tottenham 2022]

The Portuguese opponents quickly came out the blocks as they had two very good chances from two of their wingers. Cabral’s shot was comfortably pushed away by Aaron Maguire. In the 6th minute, Afonso Moreira’s shot went narrowly wide of goal after an excellent delivery from the right-hand side.

Regardless of the scoreline both teams made a bright start in the opening ten minutes of the game.

Sporting Lisbon deservedly got their equaliser in the 19th minute. Diogo Cabral drove at the Tottenham players on the right wing and then he cut onto his left foot and then passed to Marco Cruz just inside the width of the goal. Cruz left footed shot curled into the bottom left corner.

Filipe’s side were causing Spurs huge problems on the counter. Moreira and Cabral were the orchestrators of their counterattacks. They were dominating possession comfortably without testing Spurs’s keeper too much. 

On the other hand, Wayne Burnett’s side struggled to get any foothold in the game. They struggled with their opponent’s brilliant technical security on the ball. Despite their struggles, Jamie Donley had a chance inside the box which went just wide of the left-hand post just before the break.

The second half continued where it left off with Sporting Lisbon dominating the ball and Tottenham happy to sit back.

Marco Cruz got his brace in the 65th minute as the initial shot was blocked in the area and it fell to the midfielder just outside the box. His shot went inside the post into the net to restore Sporting’s lead.

Marco Cruz celebrating goal [Sporting CP 2022]

Wayne Burnett reacted by making changes late in the game to try and get the win for his side. One of the changes included 15-year-old, Callum Olusesi who made his debut in this competition.

As the game went on Sporting Lisbon had few chances that went wide of goal. Whereas, Spurs did not have the urgency or desire to try and force an equaliser.

Tottenham Hotspur’s elimination was confirmed at full-time. They will play their last group game against Marseille. 

Sporting Lisbon and Frankfurt will battle it out next week Tuesday to see who finishes top of the group.

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