Thursday 2 August 2012
Last Update 2 August 2012 3:21 am
HARRISON, New Jersey: Gareth Bale and Gylfi Sigurdsson scored second-half goals to lead English club Tottenham the only win of its preseason tour of the United States with a 2-1 victory over the New York Red Bulls on Tuesday.
The win gave the Premier League’s fourth-place finisher last season the New York Cup, marking the second time in three years Spurs have won a trophy in the Big Apple. They previously beat the Red Bulls 2-1 in the 2010 New York Challenge.
Sigurdsson broke a 1-1 deadlock in the 64th minute after finding a sliver of space between him and Red Bulls defender Markus Holgersson deep on the left side. He hooked a high shot into the upper right corner past leaping Red Bulls keeper Bill Gaudette.
Bale, playing at forward instead of midfield with Tottenham carrying only player up front on the match friendly tour, leveled the game in the 54th when he jumped over the shorter Dax McCarty and headed in a corner.
Kenny Cooper, a 13-goal scorer in the regular season, put the Red Bulls ahead 1-0 in the 8th minute with a penalty after defender Jan Vertonghen took down former Everton midfielder Tim Cahill of Australia in the box.
Cooper converted with a low shot near the left post, and it stood as the Red Bulls’ only shot of a sluggish first half for both teams.
Spurs fared only slightly better, getting off five shots but only two on goal. One of those was thwarted by a leaping Gaudette, who lifted Bale’s high, hard shot just over the crossbar in the 12th minute.
Cahill, signed by the Red Bulls last Thursday, spent the previous eight seasons in the Premier League, scoring 68 goals in 278 appearances with Everton.
Red Bulls forward Thierry Henry was rested after an intense stretch of games and midfielder Rafa Marquez was a late scratch with discomfort in his left calf. He was replaced by Connor Lade.
In the first two matches on its tour, Tottenham drew with the Los Angeles Galaxy 1-1 and played to a scoreless draw with English rival Liverpool.
Pienaar completes Everton return
Meantime, South African international midfielder Steven Pienaar has completed a permanent transfer back to former club Everton from Tottenham on a four-year deal for £4.5 million ($7 million), the Merseyside club announced on Tuesday.
Pienaar, 30, left Goodison Park for Spurs in January 2011 but failed to impress in North London and started just five league games before returning to Everton on loan in January.
On his return to Everton, Pienaar scored four goals in 14 league games to help them finish seventh, and boss David Moyes stated his desire to re-sign the South African earlier this month.
“We are keen on Pienaar and I hope in time we would be able to conclude that deal,” he said at the time. “I don’t know if the situation has changed (with Andre Villas-Boas coming in as new Spurs manager) but Steven has made it very clear he wants to come back here and my understanding is that hasn’t changed.
“My next job in the coming weeks is to get Steven Pienaar here as well.”
Pienaar made no secret of his desire to return to Merseyside and Tim Cahill’s move to Major League Soccer outfit the New York Red Bulls paved the way for the South African’s comeback.
He told evertontv: “I am happy to be here. It took a few weeks to sort out but I am delighted to be back and excited to play for Everton.
“There was no doubt in my mind that I would be back here. At the end of the season I told the manager how I felt and I am happy now it is all done.”
The player, who made his name in Europe with Ajax, originally joined the Toffees in July 2007 on loan from Borussia Dortmund before that deal was made permanent a year later.
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