U’s knock out Tottenham after a dramatic penalty shoot-out
- Credit: Picture: Steve Waller
Colchester United 0 Tottenham 0 (Colchester won 4-3 on penalties)
Colchester United knocked out Premier League Tottenham in a dramatic penalty shoot-out 4-3 tonight, with Tom Lapslie scoring the vital spot kick.
This Carabao EFL Cup third round tie, played in front of a sell-out crowd at the Jobserve Community Stadium, had ended 0-0 after 90 minutes as John McGreal's men kept out their illustrious visitors with a fine defensive display.
The U's soaked up a good deal of pressure and then finished the match strongly themselves to set up a penalty shoot-out.
In truth, U's keeper Dean Gerken did not actually have that much to do during the match, but he started the shoot-out by superbly saving Christian Eriksen's penalty.
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Luke Norris and Frank Nouble netted for the U's, as did Dele Alli and Erik Lamela for Tottenham, and it was all square when Jevani Brown had his cheeky spot kick easily saved by keeper Paulo Gazzanigna.
That meant it was 2-2 after three penalties each. Heung-Min Son and Paris Cowan-Hall both scored for 3-3, before Lucas Moura slammed his spot kick onto the bar.
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And that enabled Lapslie to tuck home the vital penalty to seal victory and send U's fans wild with joy.
The U's were fresh from back-to-back wins in League Two, following a 3-0 success at Swindon last Tuesday night and then a 2-1 home win over Leyton Orient on Saturday.
They had also knocked out Premier League opposition in the previous round of the cup, winning a penalty shoot-out at Crystal Palace following a goalless draw.
Tottenham, meanwhile, rung the chances after slumping to a 2-1 defeat at Leicester City in the Premier League over the weekend. The Londoners had not actually won a league match on the road since January, with seven defeats and a couple of draws.
But there was still a lot of experience in the visitors' ranks, not least England internationals Kyle Walker-Peters, Eric Dyer and Dele Alli, so it was no surprise that they bossed possession during the opening exchanges.
However, Tottenham did not actually trouble Dean Gerken during the opening 10 minutes, albeit for one wild early shot from Walker-Peters which flew high and wide.
Under-23 striker Troy Parrott, making his first-team debut, fired in a better effort on the quarter-hour mark, although his low angled drive took a deflection on its way past Gerken's far post. Seconds later and Gerken also watched as Lucas Moura's rather optimistic 25-yarder whistled several feet over his bar.
Alli squandered a good chance to break the deadlock in the 19th minute, but his nonchalant first-time effort from Oliver Skipp's squared pass rolled wide of Gerken's right post. He should really have done better.
While Spurs continued to misfire in front of goal, the U's themselves struggled to retain possession themselves, or even register a shot in anger during the first half-hour, perhaps not surprising. The emphasis was more on maintaining a solid defensive shape.
Gerken was called into his first real save on the half-hour mark, after Luke Prosser had fouled Moura just outside the penalty area, in a central position. Moura himself took the ensuing free-kick, and his swerving shot got beyond the defensive wall, only for Gerken to make a fine block.
The U's best moments came from surging runs by Courtney Senior, through the middle and down the right flank. At least his attacking bursts kept the Tottenham defenders on their toes.
Into the second half and the U's earned their first corner of the game, which was delivered by left-back Cohen Bramall on 47 minutes.
Ironically, Tottenham broke quickly from this U's set-piece, after clearing their lines, and an end-to-end attack saw Troy Parrott's final shot deflected wide of goal.
The U's were forced into a change on 51 minutes, with Ryan Jackson hobbling off injured, to be replaced by Paris Cowan-Hall at right-back, and shortly afterwards livewire Parrott connected with a volley that flew only a foot over the top.
Only the woodwork denied the Premier League side an opening goal in the 58 minutes, as Walker-Peters' fiercely struck low drive beat Gerken but cannoned back off the far post.
The substitutes threatened on 72 minutes. Heung-Min Son's dangerous cross flew across the face of goal, with no one able to apply the finishing touch, before Christian Eriksen's bullet shot was charged down by a defender.
McGreal made an attacking substitution of his own, with striker Luke Norris introduced to support Frank Nouble up top, and this prompted a good period of play for the hosts. Tom Lapslie had a shot blocked, and Paris Cowan-Hall drilled a 20-yarder narrowly off target.
With just two minutes of normal time remaining, Senior came the closest to a U's goal with a teasing run and shot that sailed agonisingly wide.
COLCHESTER: Gerken, Jackson (sub Cowan-Hall, 51), Prosser, Eastman, Bramall, Comley, Stevenson (sub Norris, 77), Lapslie, Gambin (sub Brown, 68), Senior, Nouble. Unused subs: Ross, Sowunmi, Clampin, Chilvers.
TOTTENHAM: Gazzaniga, Sanchez, Dier, Tangana (sub Son, 66), Walker-Peters, Skipp (sub Lamela, 77), Wanyama, Alli, Davies, Moura, Parrott (sub Eriksen, 66). Unused subs: Lloris, Vertonghen, Sissoko, Foyth.
Referee: Mr Jarred Gillett
Attendance: 9,481 (1,664 away fans)