HARRISON, N.J. – The crème de la crème of the Barclays New York Challenge met in the first match of Sunday’s doubleheader at Red Bull Arena, and Sporting locked up the tournament title with a 2-2 draw against EPL side Tottenham.
Sporting – who received goals from Matias and Jaime Valdes on Sunday – finished with eight points, thanks to a 2-0 win over Manchester City in their opener on Friday. The tournament awarded three points for a win, one for a draw and one for each goal scored.
Tottenham also finished with eight points after a 2-1 win over New York on Thursday, but finished second on goal differential.
New York finished third with six points following a 2-1 win in the finale over Manchester City on Sunday afternoon.
Sunday’s opener started splendidly. Sporting broke down Tottenham’s defense in the 8th minute only to have Tottenham goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini make a series of sprawling saves on point-blank efforts.
Spurs opened the scoring against the run of play in the 24th minute, thanks to Robbie Keane. Niko Krancjar sent a through ball to a streaking Keane, who rifled the ball past Rui Patricio in Sporting’s goal.
The lead didn’t last long, though, thanks to Matias. Just one minute later he snapped a header to the back post off a nifty cross from the outside of the foot of Diogo Salomao, and Sporting had leveled the match, 1-1.
Sporting took the lead just two minutes into the second half. Taking the ball from about 25 yards out, Valdes made a cut back move with his left foot then breezed past two Tottenham defenders, powering a shot from 15 yards out past second-half insertion David Button in Tottenham’s goal.
With mounting pressure against a relentless Sporting attack, Tottenham once again got a goal against the run of play in the 70th minute. Intercepting an errant Sporting pass at midfield, Keane collected the ball and sent a ball through the stretched Sporting defense to a charging Jonathan Obika. Obika pushed into the penalty area and fired a ball under Patricio that squirmed across the goal line.
Sporting – Rui Patricio, Marco Torsigilieri, Leandro Grimo (Evaldo Fabiano), Nuno Coehlo, Abel Ferreira, Matias (Andres Martins), Jaime Valdes (Simon Vukcevic), Miguel Veloso (Nuno Ribiero), Andre Santos (Pedro Mendes), Liedson (Yannick Djalo), Diogo Salomao (Florent Sinama Pongolle, Carlos Saliero)
Tottenham – Carlo Cudicini (David Button), Alan Hutton, Kyle Naughton (Danny Rose), Verdan Corluka, Kyle Walker, Gareth Bale, Tom Huddlestone, Jermaine Jenas, Adel Taarabt (Jonathan Obika), Niko Krancjar (Andros Townsend), Robbie Keane