O'Hara puts Spurs on brink
An early goal from Jamie O'Hara was enough to keep the Harry Redknapp revolution going with a 1-0 win at NEC Nijmegen
Last Updated: 27/11/08 8:31pm
An early goal from Jamie O'Hara was enough to keep the Harry Redknapp revolution going and put Spurs on the brink of the Uefa Cup knockout stages with a 1-0 win at NEC Nijmegen.
A seventh win in nine games since Redknapp took charge put Tottenham in a powerful position in Group D with a home game to come against Spartak Moscow.
Tottenham failed to hit the heights of some of their recent performances but with several changes to their team they were never really in danger of dropping points against their Dutch opponents.
O'Hara scored the decisive goal after 14 minutes when he headed in from close range after Fraizer Campbell had hit the bar from a Gareth Bale cross.
O'Hara also forced Gabor Babos into saves either side of the break and Darren Bent went close to a second goal with a header, while Tottenham's under-fire goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes kept a welcome clean sheet on his return to Holland.
The former PSV Eindhoven number one did not have early crosses to deal with as he would in England but he was at full stretch to deny Moestafa El-Kabir midway through the first half.
Youssef El-Akchaoui's cross fell for El-Kabir after the forward challenged Jonathan Woodgate then Chris Gunter hacked clear under pressure when Gomes turned the shot away.
Jhonny van Beukering also had an effort on goal, shooting just wide from the edge of the area after Lasse Schone made space with a dummy.
As NEC tried to drag their way back into the game, Woodgate was required to block from El-Kabir when he unleashed another shot just before the break.
Spurs offered a threat on the counter-attack and O'Hara was in the hunt for a second, forcing Babos into a save with a powerful drive after Bent had laid the ball off.
Spurs started the second half strongly with David Bentley firing just wide and Chris Gunter then crossing for Bent to connect with a header which Babos tipped over at full stretch.
O'Hara had another effort on goal that was saved before Redknapp brought on Aaron Lennon for Bent, with the substitute's pace giving NEC problems and earning a booking for Lorenzo Davids, cousin of former Spurs midfielder Edgar.
Woodgate was required to make a last-ditch tackle on El-Kabir to prevent NEC levelling but Tottenham cruised through the closing stages to maintain their momentum ahead of Sunday's clash with Everton when they are likely to be nearer full strength.
|NEC Nijmegen||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|0||1st Half Goals||1|
|2||Shots on Target||7|
|6||Shots off Target||5|