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Tuesday, 1 October, 2002, 22:03 GMT 23:03 UK
Tottenham 1-0 Cardiff

Tottenham put Second Division leaders Cardiff out of the Worthington Cup with a single goal from veteran skipper Teddy Sheringham.

Bad misses by Milenko Acimovic and Robbie Keane kept Cardiff's hopes alive right to the end but in truth they and their army of fans should have been silenced much earlier.

The wastefulness did not spread to 36-year-old Sheringham who hit the target from a Mauricio Taricco cross on the half-hour.

Despite their recent troubles, Spurs looked confident and sharp right from the start with Steffen Freund settling back in straight away after nine months out following knee surgery.

But they were guilty of poor finishing and a lack of cutting edge in what was mostly a one-sided second round tie.

Cardiff gallantly gave it all they had got and produced a lively finish when Daniel Gabbidon curled a shot just wide and Graham Kavanagh also just missed the target from long range.

It might have been a different story had Robert Earnshaw taken an early chance instead of nervously shovelling the ball into goalkeeper Kasey Keller's arms.

The 21-year-old Zambian-born striker, who has notched 52 goals in 104 games and 10 in six starts this season, belied that record with a nervous first touch.

By then Spurs had already tested Cardiff keeper Neil Alexander with Sheringham's low volley and when they turned on the intense pressure it eventually brought reward.

The winner came when Steffen Freund found Taricco out on the right to provide a low cross which Sheringham touched home after nipping in front of his marker to meet the delivery at the near post.

Cardiff deserved enormous credit for keeping going in the second half but really they should have been buried under a pile of additional goals.

Keane's miss on hour-mark was the worst of all when clean through, just like Earnshaw had been in the opening minutes, he was let down by a miserable first touch.


Tottenham: Keller, Taricco, Thatcher, Richards, Bunjevcevic, Freund, Acimovic, Etherington, Davies, Sheringham, Keane. Subs: Hirschfeld, Ferdinand, Doherty, Iversen, Blondel.

Cardiff: Alexander, Weston, Croft, Prior, Gabbidon, Boland, Kavanagh, Whalley, Legg, Campbell, Earnshaw. Subs: Fortune-West, Barker, Maxwell, Hamilton, Margetson.

Referee: S Mathieson (Cheshire).

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BBC Five Live's Steve May
"It was a match played in great spirit"
Spurs manager Glenn Hoddle
"We knew it was going to be a tough game"
Cardiff's Danny Gabbidon
"It was a great learning experience"

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