Along holiday has passed for Tottenham Hotspur.
They underwent their first pre-season match on Sunday (21/07) against Italian Serie A champions Juventus, at Singapore National Stadium, Kallang, Singapore. The match titled International Champions Cup was won by the Spurs with a score of 3-2.
Unlike most pre-season matches, this Spurs match against Juventus took place quickly from the early minutes. Erik Lamela opened the Spurs advantage in the first round. In the second half, there were four additional goals: Gonzalo Higuain and Cristiano Ronaldo had made Juventus back ahead, but Lucas Moura then managed to make the position as strong.
Towards the end of the match, Harry Kane scored a spectacular goal from the middle of the field. The team with AIA sponsors in the chest finally won and started the pre-season perfectly. As the winning scorer, Kane was also chosen as man of the match .
Seriously from the start
Usually the pre-season running is full of formality. That view had been supported once the composition of the Spurs players was announced. Mauricio Pochettino has a lot of young players like Troy Parrot (attacker), Oliver Skipp (midfielder), and Anthony Georgiou, Kyle Walker-Peters, and Japhet Tanganga (defender).
However, Spurs turned out to play one of the idol players in Asia as a starter : Son Heung-Min. He was supported by Erik Lamela, Bamidele Alli, and Toby Alderweireld who also played as starters . Apart from Son and Kane (not a starter ), some Spurs supporters also look forward to the newly purchased Tanguy Ndombele debut at high prices.
But to be honest, the Spurs supporters had a surrender expression when they heard big names playing from the start for Juventus. Gianluigi Buffon, Leonardo Bonucci, Miralem Pjanic, Blaise Matudi, Mario Mandzukic and Cristiano Ronaldo graced Maurizio Sarri’s team sheet . Meanwhile, Matthijs de Ligt – also a new player who did not play a starter – was awaited by many Juventus supporters.
“Also shocked, it turned out that Spurs played fast and pressed from the start,” said Matias Ibo, a Spurs supporter from Indonesia. It turned out that although many young players dropped, they were able to play counter-pressing tactics as usual, even with a slightly lower intensity.
Lamela’s goal in the first half came with Spurs pressure. The Argentine managed to rise quickly to greet the ball of vomit from Buffon.
De Ligt and Ndombele debut in the Second Round
In the second half, the two teams made many substitutions – a common occurrence in pre-season matches, especially in the first match like this. Son, Dele, Alderweireld, Buffon, and Mandzukic are pulled out. But the audience was still enthusiastic, one of them because Ronaldo was still playing; plus Kane and Lucas also entered.
The replacement of Sarri bear fruit sweet results. Higuain managed to score. Ronaldo who was still excellent at the age of 34 years also managed to make a goal that made the whole stadium rumble.
After Ronaldo changed the position to 2-1 for Juventus superiority, he was pulled out replaced by Matheus Pereira. De Ligt also signed to replace Leonardo Bonucci.
In the same minute (63rd minute), Ndombele played in place of Lamela. The two goals and substitutions of the players suddenly made both supporters more enthusiastic and curious.
De Ligt appeared calm with the superiority of
his positioning . Ndombele even immediately recorded assists for Lucas’s goal.
When the match was felt to be a draw in 90 minutes, Kane was able to score a beautiful goal against Wojciech Szczesny. The goalkeeper who has defended Arsenal – Spurs rivals – was also cheered on throughout the second half by Spurs supporters when he had the ball.
Filled with Indonesian audiences
Before the match ended, the announcer at the stadium announced that the number of spectators present was 50,443 (from a capacity of 55,000). “We experienced a record breaking with more than 100,000 spectators during the two days of holding the ICC in Singapore,” he said.
Not only from Singapore, spectators who packed the national stadium also came from Malaysia, South Korea, Thailand, Vietnam, and especially Indonesia. Where the ears are directed, Indonesian voices can be heard clearly on the island across the Malacca Strait.
“For ordinary matches, the audience will not be this much, even if it’s a national team match,” said Janssen Ong, a Singaporean spectator. “It must be admitted that Indonesians who are crazy about football make the atmosphere here very lively,” he said.
For Spurs, this victory is a sweet opening for their 2019/20 season. The lack of players who come and go makes their squad more solid. Young players can also look promising like Harry Winks, Skipp, and Walker-Peters.
” Imagine , the pre-season match just like that was already as fast as it played. Later in the Premier League they (Spurs) would be crazy and faster,” said Matias, a Spurs supporter. After fighting Juventus, this series of International Champions Cups sponsored by AIA will bring Spurs to Manchester United in Shanghai, China, on Thursday (07/25).