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Spurs pay the penalty in Carling Cup exit

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Stoke City 0

Tottenham 0

Stoke win 7-6 on penalties

Debutant Massimo Luongo saw his spot-kick saved by Thomas Sorensen as Spurs were condemned to an early Carling Cup exit at the hands of the Potters.

Both sides were playing their third game in six days following Europa League and Premiership duties and it is no surprise that Stoke City manager Tony Pulis and counterpart Harry Redknapp both made use of their respective squad’s strength in depth for the game.

Brazilian Sandro was making his first competitive start of the season and it was match for the likes of Vedran Corluka, Sebastien Bassong and Giovani Dos Santos to stake a claim for a regular starting spot.

It was the home side created the first real effort of the game as former Spur Peter Crouch, who had replaced Kenwyne Jones who limped off after just 10 minutes, nodded Matthew Etherington’s corner wide of the mark.

Crouch again failed to test Gomes in the Spurs goal as his header was easily cleared by the Tottenham back four after a dangerous ball from Etherington and the two combined again just after the half-hour mark, Younes Kaboul this time on hand to avert any danger.

Sandro then saw his driven effort parried away by Sorensen and youngster Tom Carroll’s volley cleared was sent sailing over the bar while at the other end, Etherington tried his luck from distance, only to see his bending effort wide of the mark in what proved to be a lacklustre opening 45 minutes from both sides.

Spurs started the second half the brighter of the two sides as Jake Livermore sent a curling effort the wrong side of the post before Roman Pavlyuchenko smashed a fierce effort goalwards only to be denied by the impressive Sorensen.

Rafael Van der Vaart, having been bought down by Robert Huth, attempted to squeeze a free-kick low into the far corner but failed to hit the target meanwhile, Gomes did well to get the ball away from the danger-zone as both Crouch and Cameron Jerome attempted to force in Etherington’s cross.

Extra-time followed and it was Stoke who tested the Spurs goal initially, Huth’s drive being spilled by Gomes but the Brazilian was on hand to quickly deny Crouch with the follow-up.

Jonathan Walters was then put-through following a quick Stoke free-kick but the 28-year-old dragged his effort wide before Carroll and Etherington wasted opportunities to win it for their sides as penalties loomed.

Stoke stepped up first and Walters made it 1-0 before Defoe levelled the scores. Jermaine Pennant and Pavlyuchenko both missed the target to keep it 1-1 before Glenn Whelan, Marc Wilson, Crouch, Etherington, Matthew Upson and Ryan Shotton buried their efforts for Stoke while Andros Townsend, Corluka, Kaboul, Livermore and Carroll found the net for Spurs.

This left Luongo to step-up but the debutant saw his effort parried away by Sorensen which saw Stoke progress to the next round and left Spurs reeling from their second third round exit of the competition in as many years.

Redknapp was quick to sympathise with Luongo after the match, saying: “He is okay, of course.

“If Pavlyuchenko had scored, he wouldn’t have had to take one, would he? It would have been all over, but that is how it goes.

“The kid had the bottle to step up and take one – so did young Tom Carroll and Jake Livermore, so that was good.”

“At least he had the strength of character to go up and do it,” Pulis added on Luongo.

“I thought he played well. He looked a decent young player.”

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