Harry Kane`s late leveller caps dramatic Spurs revival
Harry Kane wrote another chapter in his storybook season as the Tottenham striker rescued a 2-2 draw with the last kick of a pulsating London derby against West Ham on Sunday.
London: Harry Kane wrote another chapter in his storybook season as the Tottenham striker rescued a 2-2 draw with the last kick of a pulsating London derby against West Ham on Sunday.
Mauricio Pochettino`s team had fallen 2-0 behind at White Hart Lane as the Hammers struck through Cheikhou Kouyate and Diafra Sakho, but an error by goalkeeper Adrian allowed Danny Rose to halve the deficit with nine minutes left.
And when Kane was fouled in the area by Alex Song deep into second half stoppage-time, he kept his composure to smash in the rebound after his spot-kick was saved.
It was a welcome point in the end for the home side but really they needed to win to put pressure on Southampton and Liverpool before their two rivals for fourth place meet at St Mary`s later on Sunday.
So a limp first half display was a surprise, especially in a local derby that went the way of the visitors twice last season.
Tottenham did go close to the opener when Kane won a race against James Tomkins for a simple ball over the top from Rose.
Winston Reid`s challenge forced the Spurs forward to improvise a poke with his studs rather than a clean strike, but the ball still beat Adrian only to clip the outside of the base of a post and spin to safety.
But West Ham also looked dangerous and Sakho alertly nipped in between Hugo Lloris and Eric Dier as the ball bounced between them and headed goalwards.
Fortunately for the home side, Jan Vertonghen was on hand to clear, but there was no salvation for Spurs after 22 minutes as West Ham went ahead.
Tottenham failed to clear a West Ham attack but still had plenty of defenders between ball and goal as the ball was worked down the left to Aaron Cresswell.
But when the left back swung the ball across, Kouyate rose unmarked to head firmly past Lloris.West Ham`s delighted fans were nearly silenced four minutes later as Kane chipped the ball forward for Rose, who beat Adrian`s punch to the ball only for his header to drop onto the roof of the empty net.
But West Ham continued to pose problems. Lloris had to rush from his goal to block a shot from Enner Valencia after the forward had got the better of Rose.
West Ham should have gone 2-0 ahead after 59 minutes when Mark Noble`s pass sent Sakho through with only Lloris to beat, but the goalkeeper anticipated the forward`s shot to his left and pushed the ball round the post.
It only delayed the inevitable.
In the 62nd minute Noble crossed from the left, two defenders went with Valencia, and Sakho stole in unnoticed at the far post to touch the ball back across Lloris and in.
Spurs then brought on Roberto Soldado but even though that pushed Kane into a supporting role, he still looked Tottenham`s most dangerous player, and he thought he had halved the arrears when scoring at the second attempt, only to be flagged offside.
Tottenham`s lifeline arrived in the 81st minute and owed more to Adrian, the West Ham goalkeeper, than any attacking skill.
First he came out to claw a cross from the head of Dier but got no distance on the ball. And as Rose`s shot bounced back towards the unguarded net he appeared to leave it, before realising the ball was going to drop in and diving too late.
Adrian almost redeemed himself by saving Kane`s last-gasp penalty in the sixth minute of stoppage-time, but he couldn`t prevent the new hero of White Hart Lane hitting home the rebound for his 24th goal of a remarkable campaign.