Rodrigo Bentancur’s equalizing goal saw Spurs avoid a third consecutive defeat in all competitions
Tottenham will need at least a draw at Marseille in their final group stage match in the Champions League to secure a place in the knockout stage after being denied victory in a dramatic final against Sporting Lisbon.
Spurs knew a win would guarantee a place in the last 16, but they toiled for long periods before being denied a last gasp winner when Harry Kane’s strike was ruled out for offside and manager Antonio Conte was shown a red card in the ensuing chaos.
In a tense encounter, former Spurs youngster Marcus Edwards gave Sporting a deserved 22-minute lead with a nice low shot, as they penalized Conte’s side for a poor first half that caused loud cheers from the home fans.
The Spurs had improved greatly after the break, but they were grateful for a crucial save by keeper Hugo Lloris from Sporting substitute Flavio Nazinho, who also missed the goal.
They took advantage of those two breakaways as Rodrigo Bentancur got up 10 minutes before time to go home from a corner – and in a frantic closing, both sides had chances to win.
Kane thought he snatched it with pretty much the final kick – only for the VAR to decide otherwise.
Spurs pay for slow start
Spurs regretted the VAR intervention that denied them the win, but they must also regret another slow start that allowed Sporting to take control for the first 45 minutes.
The increasingly rebellious mood at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium was reflected in the angry response from supporters who had been frustrated by a series of aimless and misplaced passes accompanied by a lack of urgency.
It was all so different after the break when the Spurs came alive, finally putting pressure on Sporting and forcing keeper Antonio Adan into action.
However, they still looked vulnerable and Lloris – rightly criticized for his mistakes in Sunday’s home defeat to Newcastle United – came to the rescue with Nazinho’s crucial save, although the Sporting attacker should not have made a mistake with a second chance that he steered wide from an open target.
The Spurs, who had returned to the game, had chances to take the three points that would have made the trip to Marseille a formality, but Eric Dier and Bentancur were unable to find the target.
The match ended in a melee, with Conte being sent off after lavishly celebrating what he believed was the goal that secured the knockout spot when Kane took the knockdown of Emerson Royal.
The Spurs have work to do in Marseille and they must learn the lesson that they will be punished for leaving too late to get into gear.
Edwards shows his quality
It was perhaps inevitable that Marcus Edwards would score on his return to Spurs, the club where he failed to break through despite his talent.
Fulfilling his potential in Lisbon, the 23-year-old put in a fine performance in the first group match, which Sporting won 2-0, with another promising play here.
He was a constant threat until he sank after half time, threatening several times in the first half and giving Sporting the lead with a low short drill past Lloris, while Spurs paid the price for holding up.
Edwards is now determined to capture his attitude to ability and will have impressed all observers, and those who remember him from his unfulfilled Spurs career, with how he performed here.
The four teams in Group D are separated by two points entering the final round of play
Player of the match
Edwards Marcus Edwards
Squad number10Player nameEdwards
Squad number82Player nameMateus Fernandes
Squad number20Player namePaulinho
Squad number11Player nameNuno Santos
Squad number24Player namePorro
Squad number17Player nameTrincão
Squad Number5Player NameMorita
Squad number71Player nameFlávio Nazinho
Squad number2Player nameMatheus Reis
Squad number15Player nameUgarte
Squad number4Player nameCoates
Squad number1Player nameAdán
Squad number25Player nameGonçalo Inácio
Squad Number18Player NameFatawu
Squad number3 Player nameSt. juste
Squad Number33Player NameArthur Gomes
27Lucas Moura7Son Heung-Min
1Lloris17RomeroBooked at 67mins15Dier33DaviesSubstituted forLengletat 81’minutes2DohertySubstituted forGilat 71’minutes5Højbjerg30Bentancur14Perisic27Lucas MouraSubstituted forEmerson Royalat 82’minutes7Son Heung-Min10KaneSubstitutes4Skipp6D Sánchez11Gil12Emerson Royal19R Sessegnon20Forster24Spence25Tanganga29Sarr34Lenglet38Bissouma42WhiteSporting
25Inácio4Coates2Travel de Lima
24Joint15Ugarte5Morita11Gomes dos Santos
20 Dias Fernandes
1. Justeat 75’minutesSubstitutes3St. Juste6Alexandropoulos12Israel16Costa Rocha18Fatawu22Eusébio Paulo33Gomes Lourenço63Martinez Marsà71Basilua Jacinto Názinho77Borges Cabral82Espanha Fernandes84Essugo
Referee: Danny Makkelie
Match ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sporting Lisbon 1.
Second Half ends, Tottenham Hotspur 1, Sporting Lisbon 1.
VAR decision: No goal Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Sporting Lisbon.
OBJECTIVE CONVINCED BY VAR: Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) scores, but the goal is disallowed after a VAR review.
Offside Tottenham Hotspur. Emerson Royal tries a through ball, but Harry Kane is offside.
Missed attempt. Pedro Porro (Sporting Lisbon) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Manuel Ugarte.
Foul by Emerson Royal (Tottenham Hotspur).
Flávio Nazinho (Sporting Lisbon) wins a free kick in the backcourt.
Cristian Romero (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the backcourt.
Foul by Mateus Fernandes (Sporting Lisbon).
Missed attempt. Rodrigo Bentancur (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the center of the box is too high. Assisted by Bryan Gil.
Attempt saved. Son Heung-Min (Tottenham Hotspur) left footed shot from outside the box is saved to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Bryan Gil.
Offside Tottenham Hotspur. Pierre-Emile Højbjerg tries a through ball, but Son Heung-Min is offside.
Corner, Sporting Lisbon. Caused by Hugo Lloris.
Attempt saved. Issahaku Fatawu (Sporting Lisbon) left footed shot from outside the box is saved to the bottom left corner.
Missed attempt. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range misses to the right. Assisted by Clement Lenglet.
Foul by Ivan Perisic (Tottenham Hotspur).
Pedro Porro (Sporting Lisbon) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Offside, Sporting Lisbon. Pedro Porro tries a through ball, but Arthur Gomes is offside.
Missed attempt. Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range misses to the left. On a pass from Son Heung-Min with a pass from a dead game moment.