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Saturday, February 12, 2005

Tottenham 3-1 W Brom: Defoe brace


England striker Jermain Defoe smashed two second-half goals to send Tottenham into the fifth round of the FA Cup with a 3-1 home replay win over West Brom.

Ledley King leaves a prostrate Kanu in his wake. (RichardHeathcote/Empics)

Defoe struck twice in six minutes in front of watching England coach Sven-Goran Eriksson to set up a home tie with Nottingham Forest next Sunday after West Brom had given Spurs an early scare.

Former Arsenal striker Kanu had headed Albion into an 11th-minute lead before Robbie Keane equalised from a dubious penalty award just before the interval.

Tottenham had begun the game utilising a 4-3-1-2 formation, with Robbie Keane given the task of playing behind the two main strikers of Fredi Kanoute and Defoe.

Defoe: We deserved it

The visitors settled down to control the opening 10 minutes without being able to engineer a clear cut opportunity from their dominance. However, the breakthrough finally arrived in the 11th minute and it was Kanu who headed the visitors in front.

The Spurs defence were not alert to the danger when Kevin Campbell backheeled the ball to Zoltan Gera on the right flank and Gera's cross was perfectly judged for Kanu to rise above full-back Stephen Kelly and put Albion ahead.

It was due reward for Bryan Robson's side and they continued to impose themselves on a fragile-looking Spurs rearguard.

In the 14th minute goalkeeper Paul Robinson had to pull off a fine save from his namesake as Albion threatened to increase their advantage.

Spurs appealed for a penalty in the 31st minute when Neil Clement looked to have brought down Keane, but referee Rob Styles correctly waved play on.

Tottenham had to thank England keeper Robinson for keeping them in the game in the 33rd minute when he managed to turn a Campbell shot around the post after the visitors had carved open their defence once more.

Gera was again the provider with a clever through-ball which bamboozled Tottenham's rearguard and left Campbell bearing down on Robinson.

But the former Arsenal and Everton striker's right-footed shot was brilliantly tipped around the post by Robinson to the relief of the home fans and coach Martin Jol.

Three minutes later it was Defoe's turn to squander a gilt-edged opportunity for the Londoners. Kanoute managed to find enough space to deliver a right-wing cross which fell perfectly for the England striker on the penalty spot.

But Defoe sent his volley high into the stands as Tottenham's troubles continued.

The home side's confidence and ideas were rapidly diminishing, but they hauled themselves back into the game thanks to a dubious penalty award by Styles.

Albion goalkeeper Russell Hoult was harshly adjudged to have brought down Stephen Kelly five minutes before the interval.

After a lengthy bout of treatment, Hoult was replaced by Tomasz Kuszczak and Keane sent him the wrong way from the spot to level the scores against the run of play.

Spurs made a change at half-time, with Simon Davies being introduced into the action in place of Keane as the home side returned to a more orthodox 4-4-2 formation.

Three minutes after the restart the change worked, with Davies winning a free-kick for handball on the edge of the penalty area.

With the Albion defence expecting a shot from Reto Ziegler, Michael Carrick played a quick pass to Defoe and the striker sent a vicious right-footed drive into the roof of the net to put Spurs in front.

It was Defoe's 18th goal of the season in all competitions and justified Jol's decision to replace Keane at the break.

Spurs were now in full flow and Davies and Defoe were at the heart of all their best moves as the Londoners looked to put the game beyond Albion.

And they did just that in the 54th minute with Defoe hitting his second goal of the game. Kanoute brilliantly bamboozled the Albion defence on the edge of the six-yard box before crossing for Defoe to thump the ball into the corner of the net for the third.

They should have made it four in the 57th minute, but Michael Brown could not direct his free header beyond Kuszczak after Carrick had picked him out on the edge of the six-yard box with a perfect cross from the right flank.

Albion brought on Robert Earnshaw in place of Kanu in a bid to salvage something from the tie, but their efforts were all in vain as Spurs held on to take their place in the next round.

Defoe: We deserved it

Jermain Defoe felt Tottenham were the better side as they recovered from a goal down to beat West Brom 3-1 and progress to the FA Cup fifth round.

The Baggies led thanks to a Kanu header but Spurs hit back and won a penalty when Stephen Kelly was bundled over by Russell Hoult in the box.

The Albion goalkeeper suffered a facial injury and could not continue and Robbie Keane beat his replacement Tomasz Kuszczak from the spot.

Martin Jol's side took charge in the second period and a brace from Defoe took them into the last 16.

'We decided to go with three up front, which went OK for us,' said the England striker. 'It was difficult to get on the ball in the first half but the second was a lot better for us.

'Cup games are special. The manager stressed to us before the game that it was a special one and now we're through it feels really good,' Defoe told the BBC.

'West Brom had their chances and their front men were a threat, but I thought we were the better side to be honest.'

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