x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Keane rescues wasteful Spurs

Robbie Keane's sweet half-volley with a minute to go saved a dramatic point for Spurs.

Sunderland's goalscorer Kieran Richardson, left, tackles the Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas.
Sunderland's goalscorer Kieran Richardson, left, tackles the Tottenham midfielder Jermaine Jenas.

SUNDERLAND // Robbie Keane's sweet half-volley with a minute to go saved a dramatic point for Spurs, after they had spent the best part of 90 minutes fluffing their lines in front of goal. Kieran Richardson's strike after just three minutes had put Sunderland ahead. The Black Cats midfielder slotted calmly past keeper Heurelho Gomes after latching on to a loose ball and, despite a dominant display by Spurs, it looked like it would be enough.

But, as Sunderland striker Kenwyne Jones appealed for a penalty following a late goalmouth tumble, Spurs counter attacked, Darren Bent pulled the ball back and Keane slammed it past Marton Fulop. It was all Tottenham deserved as they had dominated the match but wasted several chances in front of goal. The Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp handed full-back Pascal Chimbonda a swift return to Sunderland. The Frenchman left the Stadium of Light after just six months in January and was treated to a hostile reception by the home fans whenever he was on the ball in the early stages.

But the jeers turned to cheers within three minutes of kick-off when Sunderland midfielder Richardson was quickest to react to a loose ball after Steed Malbranque slid into a challenge with Ledley King. Richardson's first touch wrong-footed Jonathan Woodgate and took him in on goal, and he confidently beat keeper Gomes to open the scoring. Spurs took control after the break, but failed to capitalise on their chances, with Bent the main culprit.

With 58 minutes gone Dean Whitehead's spectacular miscue put Bent in on goal, but with only Fulop to beat he blasted his left-footed shot high over the bar. A minute later he dragged his effort wide when put through on the right. The game could have been wrapped up after 62 minutes when Andy Reid's cross somehow sailed across the face of goal without anyone getting a touch. But Spurs continued to press and their hard work paid off with Keane's late dramatics.

* PA Sport