Heung-Min Son and Harry Kane help Spurs beat Shkendija in Europa League
- Credit: PA
Europa League: Shkendija 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3
Heung-min Son and Harry Kane again stepped up when needed as they got Tottenham out of trouble in a 3-1 Europa League third-round qualifying win over Shkendija.
Son and Kane starred in the 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, with Son bagging four and Kane notching four assists and a goal, and they both scored again in the final 20 minutes in North Macedonia as Spurs progressed to a play-off against Maccabi Haifa next week.
Erik Lamela had put them in front early on but a fine strike from Valmir Nafiu in the second half had threatened to make it a nervous night for Jose Mourinho’s men.
Mourinho called for Kane, who began the game on the bench, but it was Son who restored the lead in the 70th minute before the England captain settled the contest nine minutes later.
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It was not pretty for Spurs, but they got the job and and will play the Israeli side in a one-off game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Thursday for the chance to make it through to the group stage.
Having needed two goals in the last 10 minutes to get past Lokomotiv Plovdiv in last week’s second-round qualifier, Mourinho’s men will have been pleased with the start as they made as they took a fourth-minute lead.
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Lamela was left in acres of space at the back post and Son picked him out perfectly, with the Argentinian slotting home with his right foot.
That could have been the launchpad for a much easier evening, but despite controlling the game they struggled to create too many chances.
Dele Alli, who was playing after being left out of the last two games, had the best of them before half-time as Spurs again got in down the right and Serge Aurier pulled back for the England international, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Kostadin Zahov.
The inability to put the game to bed in that opening 45 minutes soon came to bite Spurs as Shkendija stunned them with a 55th-minute leveller.
Ben Davies gave the ball away and it ended up at the feet of Nafiu, who arrowed an unstoppable shot past Joe Hart and into the top corner.
Mourinho immediately called for Kane to try and rescue the situation and the chances began to flow for the visitors.
Lamela missed a free header when it seemed easier to score and then Kane uncharacteristically missed another headed chance.
In the end it was Son who restored Spurs’ lead in the 70th minute.
Tanguy Ndombele and Giovani Lo Celso combined nicely to tee up Lucas Moura, whose shot was saved by Zahov, with Son converting the rebound.
Nine minutes later Kane killed the game and Son began repaying the favours from Sunday, where Kane had set up all four of his goals.
The South Korean whipped in an inviting cross from the left, which Kane needed no second invitation to head home as Spurs got the job done.