Cudicini earns his corn on comeback for touring Spurs

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The Independent Football

Tottenham opened their pre-season tour of the United States with an exciting but goalless draw against the San Jose Earthquakes.

For Spurs the former Chelsea goalkeeper Carlo Cudicini, who was making his first start since being involved in a motorcycle accident last November, was called upon to make several decent saves.

Robbie Keane, back from his loan spell at Celtic last season, had the ball in the back of the net early on when he tapped in Jermaine Jenas's well-struck shot but the Irishman was adjudged to have wandered offside.

Garry O'Connor scored an 88th-minute winner as Birmingham City began their three-match tour of the Far East with a 3-2 victory over a Hong Kong XI despite the blistering heat. O'Connor, who was injured for most of last season, sidefooted home from eight yards following Nikola Zigic's lay-off as Birmingham fought back from 2-1 down in a game that saw both the Serbian striker and goalkeeper Ben Foster make their first appearances for the club.

Another player coming back from long-term injury, Michael Essien, scored as the Premier League champions won 1-0 at Crystal Palace. Essien was joined in an otherwise youthful starting XI by fellow first-teamers Petr Cech, Alex and John Obi Mikel for the friendly.

Aston Villa lost their first pre-season friendly 2-1 to Blue Square South side Basingstoke. A Chris Herd own goal and a David Pratt header put the home side ahead before academy player Graham Burke pulled one back for the Premier League side yesterday.

Newcastle enjoyed a comfortable 3-0 victory at Carlisle thanks to goals from Leon Best, Nile Ranger and Haris Vuckic.

Boudewijn Zenden's strike seven minutes from time secured Sunderland a 1-0 victory at Darlington, while in America Kevin Davies and Tamir Cohen scored to give Bolton a 2-0 win over Charleston Battery of South Carolina in the latest match of Wanderers' summer tour.