Football: Carr's blunder means agony for Tottenham

Fritz-Walter Stadion Kaiserslautern 2 Tottenham Hotspur 0 Kaiserslautern win 2-1 on agg
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The Independent Online
TOTTENHAM WILL make an official complaint - almost certainly in vain - after being dumped out of the Uefa Cup by two goals in stoppage time on an extraordinary night in south west Germany. Kaiserslautern admitted altering their line-up after submitting it to the referee because they noticed that Spurs had omitted David Ginola. But a Uefa official said the change was permissible and that Tottenham could amend their own team if they wanted.

The smart thing at that stage might have been to put the Frenchman back in. "We'll definitely make a complaint," said the Spurs manager, George Graham. "I can't see why you can make a change after the team has been put in to the ref."

After the chess came the football in which Tottenham, under pressure for most of the time, suddenly submitted in the end game as Youri Djorkaeff's thrusts at the heart of the defence became daggers. Almost a minute into added time the French World Cup winner set up Andreas Buck to beat Ian Walker and within 60 seconds he fed Buck again for a cross that Stephen Carr diverted into his own net. Check mate.

If it was a tough way to go, the London side had invited trouble by their inability to keep the ball, especially in a one-sided second half. "We gave it away too cheaply for both goals," Graham admitted. He pointed to a good chance that Steffen Iversen had to score a vital away goal but it was the only one Tottenham created after half-time and only their third in all.

Djorkaeff, missing from the first leg, came back after injury to run the midfield, despite the close attention - often painfully close - of Steffen Freund, the German bulldog. He was behind an early opportunity that Jeff Strasser wasted from six yards before Walker, restored to the England squad yesterday, made impressive saves from the Brazilian Ratinho and Olaf Marschall.

Iversen, pulled back into midfield to accommodate Chris Armstrong, provided Tottenham's only threat. He flicked on Freund's long throw for Tim Sherwood to volley at the goalkeeper and later headed a free-kick by Stephen Clemence a shade too high.

For a good while after the interval the game was played almost exclusively in the London side's half, Kaiserslautern pressing forward amid the full- throated backing of a 29,000 crowd in the splendid Fritz-Walter Stadium. A strong Spanish referee, refusing to be swayed by the home supporters or players, waved away two appeals for penalties before Tottenham came under pressure of a different sort from a series of right-wing crosses.

With Edinburgh and Clemence struggling to win possession, Marian Hristov and Marschall were allowed headers at the far post, Carr almost nodded past a startled Walker and Strasser volleyed over. But the closest scare came in the 73rd minute when Sol Campbell mis-judged a back header and Djorkaeff lobbed against the bar.

By that time, Tottenham followers, seeing little of the ball at the other end, were chanting for Ginola. He made his bow in the 80th minute but little more than 10 minutes later Spurs were bowing their heads in despair.

It was only the second time in 50 European ties spanning almost 40 years that Tottenham had lost a lead from the first leg. The only other occasion was back in 1963 when Dave Mackay broke his leg at Old Trafford and Manchester United took advantage to knock Bill Nicholson's team out of the Cup-Winners' Cup.

Kaiserslautern (3-5-2): Reinke; Schjonberg (Igli, 81), Ramzy (Reich, 85), Koch; Buck, Djorkaeff, Sforza, Ratinho, Strasser; Hristov, Marschall (Pettersson, 75). Substitutes not used: Gospodarek (gk), Roos, Wagner, Tare, Sobotzik.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-5-1): Walker; Carr, Perry, Campbell, Edinburgh (Young, 76); Leonhardsen, Freund, Sherwood, Clemence, Iversen; Armstrong (Ginola, 80). Substitutes not used: Baardsen (gk), Vega, Fox, Dominguez, Gower.

Referee: J Roca (Spain).

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