By Erik Bartlett
In front of the largest crowd in Buck Shaw Stadium history and a global television audience, the San Jose Earthquakes played hard against English Premier League side Tottenham Hotspur and mustered a 0-0 draw.
Although both squads didn’t use all of their key players, both sides left the match feeling positive going forward.
“The game was played in good spirit” said San Jose Manager Frank Yallop “I thought it was a good exercise and a well played game”.
Tottenham Manager Harry Redknapp echoed Yallop’s sentiment.
“I thought the (Earthquakes) were a very good team, they passed the ball very well, good movement, they were very impressive” Redknapp said. “It’s only our second game, and the opposition made us work, I liked the way (San Jose) moved the ball around the box”
Although the game was being stretched consistently by both sides throughout the course of the game, neither team could get their offense into groove.
Totttenham had dominated the first 15 minutes of the game, and even had a goal by Robbie Keane disallowed after he was judged to be offside on an impressive pass by Jermaine Jenas.
However, after the goal was called back, the game started to even out and the Earthquakes began to counter attack. Ramiro Corrales had an excellent opportunity in the 24th minute stopped by Tottenham Goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini. Shortly thereafter, Earthquakes Forward Cornell Glen used his strength to create an opportunity of his own that Cudicini did well to save.
At halftime, both teams made a plethora of substitutions in order to keep the players fresh and to avoid any unnecessary injuries in an exhibition game. However, Tottenham fans held their collective breath when up and coming star Garreth Bale went down in the 67th minute after a sequence with Omar Jasseh of San Jose, but could sigh in relief after the 21 year old returned to action after receiving treatment on the sideline.
In the waning moments of the game, there were few opportunities for either side, save for a free kick attempt by San Jose Midfielder Javier Robles that went high and wide over the crossbar.
MAN OF THE MATCH:
San Jose= Bobby Convey.
Convey played during the first half before being substituted for Arturo Alvarez, and seemed to be playing with something to prove to the global audience. He played with a chip on his shoulder and clearly raised his game for the occasion. That’s good news for Earthquakes fans if they’re to make the postseason this year.
Tottenham= Garreth Bale
Bale had an excellent all-around game and showed the fans in the United States why he’s considered one of the best up and coming defenders in the English Premier League. He played with confidence, precision, intensity, and showed his youthful exuberance every time he possessed the ball. If Tottenham are to do anything in the Champions League this upcoming season, he will be critical to their success.
NOTES: (Photo: Robbie Keane)
There was notable support from the Bay Area Croatian community for Niko Kranjar, and he had decent sized cheering section at Buck Shaw Stadium….Although there were many considerable groups of Tottenham fans at the game, the crowd felt more seemingly pro-San Jose….Tottenham Manager Harry Redknapp believes that the USA’s recent showing at the 2010 FIFA World Cup “showed that they could play at the world stage, even England couldn’t beat them”…. Redknapp also stated that USA Coach Bob Bradley did a “fantastic job”….When asked about his thoughts on playing against Thierry Henry in his upcoming New York RedBulls debut against Spurs next Friday, Tottenham Captain and Irish international Robbie Keane gave the media a firm “no comment”