Spurs through in Europe after scare

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Harry Kane
Harry Kane levelled for Tottenham from the penalty spot

Tottenham survived a scare to reach the third qualifying round of the Europa League as they came from behind to beat nine-man Lokomotiv Plovdiv.

Georgi Minchev headed the Bulgarians ahead on 72 minutes as Spurs looked in danger of falling at the first hurdle.

But Harry Kane soon levelled from the penalty spot, as Dinis Almeida was sent off for handball and Birsent Karagaren was dismissed for dissent.

And Tanguy Ndombele bundled in the winner to send Spurs through.

Spurs face another long trip next Thursday to face Macedonians Shkendija in the third qualifying round in a busy week for Jose Mourinho’s side.

They have a Premier League game against Southampton on Sunday, an EFL Cup game with Leyton Orient on Tuesday and then the journey to Macedonia two days later.

If they win both those cup games, they face a similar schedule the following week too.

Relief for Spurs and Mourinho

All European qualifiers are being played over one leg this season because the campaign started later as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Spurs boss Mourinho admitted that had forced him into playing a stronger side than he would have done if there had been a second leg in London.

He made four changes from Sunday’s 1-0 Premier League defeat by Everton, but all four were first-team regulars.

The visitors dominated possession without looking impressive and Steven Bergwijn hit the bar before Son Heung-min missed from close range.

And Minchev’s header from Dimitar Iliev’s cross had them on the brink of a European exit.

The turning point was undoubtedly Almeida’s handball on the line which earned him a straight red card, with Karagaren also dismissed in the aftermath.

Kane placed his penalty into the top corner and they dominated for the rest of the game, with substitute Ndombele converting Moura’s cross for the winner.

Line-ups

Lokomotiv Plovdiv

  • 71Lukov
  • 20Petrovic
  • 25MasoeroBooked at 87mins
  • 61Lima AlmeidaBooked at 78mins
  • 9KaragarenBooked at 79mins
  • 10UmarbayevSubstituted forMinchevat68′minutes
  • 34VitanovSubstituted forMihaljevicat81′minutes
  • 7Tsvetanov
  • 16Spinola Salinas
  • 77AralicaSubstituted forIlicat68′minutes
  • 14Iliev

Substitutes

  • 1Pirgov
  • 11Muslimovic
  • 13Pugliese
  • 15Ilic
  • 19Minchev
  • 44Stefanov Nikolaev
  • 50Mihaljevic

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 2Doherty
  • 6D SánchezSubstituted forLucas Mouraat73′minutes
  • 15Dier
  • 33Davies
  • 17SissokoSubstituted forNdombeleat61′minutes
  • 5Højbjerg
  • 18Lo Celso
  • 23BergwijnSubstituted forLamelaat70′minutes
  • 10Kane
  • 7Son Heung-Min

Substitutes

  • 8Winks
  • 11Lamela
  • 12Hart
  • 19R Sessegnon
  • 27Lucas Moura
  • 28Ndombele
  • 38Carter-Vickers

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