Match Report: Tottenham ease to victory to take third place in Asia trophy
Tottenham Hotspur 6 South China 0
Saturday 27 July 2013
Bale's future has been the subject of intense scrutinty in recent days, with Real Madrid obviously keen to sign the Wales star.
But his absence this evening had been predicted as Andre Villas-Boas confirmed yesterday Bale was still struggling to shake off a buttock injury.
In his absence, Tottenham cruised home on a pitch that looked more like an aquatics centre at times.
Manchester United have to play here on Monday, although at least there was no rain as the Red Devils coaching staff, including David Moyes and Ryan Giggs, saw Defoe profit from some woeful defending, Tottenham also netting through a Tse Sean Ka Keung own goal, a close-range effort from Clint Dempsey and Andros Townsend's late strike.
Prior to tonight, this has not been the greatest of trips for Tottenham.
What with the speculation over Bale's future, the injury to Jan Vertonghen and concerns over the pitch so great Andre Villas-Boas would have been happy for the game to be called off, Spurs will probably be glad to get on the plane home.
They left with a flourish though, completely outclassing a South China outfit who had run Manchester City close on Wednesday.
By half-time, Tottenham had three goals and could well have scored twice as many.
Clint Dempsey fired over after being sent clean through by Scott Parker, Defoe hit a post and also had a close-range effort saved by Zhang Chunhui.
In addition, referee Neil Swarbrick inexplicably failed to award a penalty when Kyle Walker was blatantly taken out by Joel Bertoli Padiha.
It meant Tottenham had to settle for just three, the first of which came when Tse Sean Ka Keung turned Danny Rose's shot into his own net.
Dempsey then tucked home Defoe's cut-back before the England striker got one himself after Kyle Walker's long-range free-kick was deflected into his path.
Defoe probably scored the easiest goal of his entire career 10 minutes after the re-start when Zhang rolled an attempted clearance straight to him.
With a gaping goal to aim at, Defoe was not likely to miss.
And his hat-trick duly arrived when the South China defence disintegrated once more and Andros Townsend completed the rout late on.
Latest in Sport
Crystal Palace manager latest: Malky Mackay ruled out due to messy departure from previous club Cardiff
Sami Khedira to Arsenal: Midfield omitted from Real Madrid squad for Spanish Super Cup
David Gold furious after Carlton Cole parody account mocks up a picture of West Ham chairman as a suspect in the Madeleine McCann case
Paul Scholes: Manchester United need five experienced players who can turn round a desperate situation
Angel Di Maria latest: Manchester United target is Real Madrid's 'best player', says Diego Simeone
- 2 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
- 3 Kajieme Powell: Missouri police release video footage of second man killed by officers
- 5 James Foley 'beheading': Met police warn public watching murder video could be criminal offence
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Crisis? What crisis? A visiting US doctor gives the NHS a rave review
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Scottish Independence Referendum: Salmond described as 'arrogant, ambitious and dishonest' by Scottish women