Europa League - Qualifying Play-offs - 1st Leg
AEL Limassol1Tottenham2

AEL Limassol 1-2 Tottenham

Roberto Soldado
Spaniard Soldado struggled for Spurs last season

Roberto Soldado and Harry Kane scored in six second-half minutes as Tottenham fought back from a goal down to claim the advantage in their Europa League play-off tie against Limassol.

Erik Lamela's introduction after the break made the difference after the Cypriots had taken an early lead through Adrian Sardinero's strike.

Spaniard Soldado levelled by firing in a low volley from Lamela's lofted ball.

Kane then found the top corner with a great strike from the Argentine's pass.

The second leg at White Hart Lane is on 28 August, with the winners assured of a place in the group stage.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino, in charge of the club in a European match for the first time, will no doubt be a relieved man after his side were outplayed in large periods by last season's runners-up in the Cypriot league.

Limassol striker Adrian Sardinero
Sardinero took advantage of some sloppy play by Tottenham

Greater fitness levels and a far stronger bench eventually told, though, as the hosts tired in the 30C Larnaca heat.

Forwards Lamela and Soldado - who were signed at a total cost of more than £50m last season and did not get off to the best of starts at White Hart Lane - were key to Tottenham's turnaround in Cyprus.

Soldado, who only managed six goals in his opening Premier League campaign, drew further groans from Spurs fans when he fired wide after Kane's initial strike was saved by Karim Fergrouche.

However, Pochettino gave the former Valencia striker time to make amends and in the 74th minute he proved that he remains a class act when he watched Lamela's angled delivery before striking a delightful effort past the Moroccan keeper.

Lamela had only been on for two minutes prior to the equaliser, and turned provider again with 10 minutes remaining.

This time the 22-year-old ex-Roma man drove forward and found Kane, who launched a fierce effort past Fergrouche.

The Argentine twice came close to adding a third when he fired wide from Nacer Chadli's pass and then had a shot well blocked by the keeper.

The Cypriots will rue failing to hold onto their 14th-minute lead, which was given to them by Sardinero, who took advantage of a loss of concentration by Paulinho before firing into the bottom corner.

Tottenham manager Mauricio Pochettino:

"In the end it was an important win and another victory. It was a difficult game and I'm happy with the players. Erik Lamela, Nacer Chadli and Mousa Dembele had an impact when they came on, which is important."

Line-ups

AEL Limassol

  • 1Fegrouche
  • 4Sielis
  • 23Soares Tavares
  • 50Ferreira De SousaBooked at 39mins
  • 19Lacerda da Silva
  • 33Guidileye
  • 20Lima da Silva
  • 12Nikolaou
  • 77SardineroSubstituted forTavares de Oliveraat 81'minutes
  • 9GikiewiczSubstituted forTagbajumiat 73'minutes
  • 10de Lima BarcelosSubstituted forEleftheriouat 67'minutes

Substitutes

  • 44Nadeau
  • 7Tagbajumi
  • 8Stavrou
  • 30Andrés Romero
  • 2España
  • 27Eleftheriou
  • 11Tavares de Olivera

Tottenham

  • 1Lloris
  • 15Dier
  • 33DaviesBooked at 86mins
  • 5Vertonghen
  • 16Naughton
  • 17TownsendSubstituted forLamelaat 72'minutes
  • 8PaulinhoSubstituted forChadliat 59'minutes
  • 42Bentaleb
  • 14HoltbyBooked at 36minsSubstituted forDembéléat 66'minutes
  • 18Kane
  • 9SoldadoBooked at 58mins

Substitutes

  • 30Sandro
  • 22Chadli
  • 11Lamela
  • 24Friedel
  • 20Dawson
  • 3Rose
  • 19Dembélé
Referee:
Manuel De Sousa

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