Tottenham Hotspur earned the point they needed to reach the Europa League knockout stage on Thursday as they were held to a roller-coaster 3-3 draw at LASK Linz after Mamoudou Karamoko grabbed a stoppage-time equalizer for the Austrians.
Royal Antwerp lead Group J on 12 points after five games with Spurs second on 10 points. LASK are third with seven points and Bulgarian side Ludogorets are bottom without a point. Tottenham host Antwerp next week to decide the group winners.
Spurs struggled to settle in the first half and LASK went ahead in the 42nd minute as defender Matt Doherty slipped and Peter Michor finished a counter-attack by whipping a bouncing drive into the net which beat keeper Joe Hart at the far post.
The visitors leveled when Andres Andrade was penalized for handball in the area and Gareth Bale slammed home the resulting spot kick in first-half stoppage time before Son Heung-Min put Tottenham ahead 11 minutes into the second half.
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LASK equalized with a shot from Johannes Eggestein in the 84th minute but again they quickly conceded a penalty which substitute Dele Alli dispatched to make it 3-2.
Spurs looked set to win until Karamoko picked up the ball on the edge of the box and curled a fine shot past Hart to snatch a late point but the visitors had done enough to make the last 32.
Spurs manager Jose Mourinho was left to stew over the dropped points.
“Not good [performance]. The result better than the performance. The second half better than the first half,” Mourinho stated after the match.
“Some players individually had very good performances but some players individually had very poor performances. The only good thing I take from the game is that we are qualified.”
Spurs were without club captain Harry Kane for the game, with Mourinho saying he rested his star striker ahead of a pivotal North London derby versus Arsenal this weekend.
“I believe [Kane] is going to be fit. I’m not sure. He’s having treatment but I could be doing some bluff and pretend he’s in trouble, but he’s not and I think he’ll play [against Arsenal],” Mourinho stated.
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