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Saturday 27 July 2013

BAT 2013: Defoe hits treble in South China rout

Jermain Defoe scores hat-trick as Spurs seal 6-0 Third Place Play-off victory over South China

  • Defoe rounds goalkeeper Zhang to score his second goal for Spurs against South China

  • Clint Dempsey (left) scores Tottenham Hotspur's second goal

  • Spurs forward Mousa Dembele takes aim during the 6-0 win against South China

  • Spurs midfielder Scott Parker tackles Mamadou Barry of South China

  • Spurs supporters get in party mood at Hong Kong Stadium

  • Spurs and South China take to the field at a 40,000 sell-out Hong Kong Stadium

  • A view of the Barclays Asia Trophy Third-Place Play-off

Tottenham Hotspur concluded their 2013 Barclays Premier League Trophy on a high note as they completed a routine 6-0 victory over South China at Hong Kong Stadium.

The result never looked in doubt after Andre Villas-Boas's side had raced into a half-time lead thanks to a Sean Tse own goal and strikes by Clint Dempsey and Jermain Defoe, and after the break Defoe completed a well-deserved hat-trick before Andros Townsend’s late free-kick rounded off a one-sided triumph.

Spurs, experimenting with a 4-2-3-1 formation, enjoyed the lion's share of possession and never looked back after taking the lead in the 13th minute when Mousa Dembele, Dempsey and Gylfi Sigurdsson combined well on the left. The United States international's deft backheel from the byline found Danny Rose, whose intended cross was deflected past Zhang Chunhui by former Manchester City defender Tse.

Sigurdsson produced a bright performance, and, four minutes after Spurs' opener, gave Defoe a clear run on goal with a measured through ball, only for the striker to be denied by a fine recovering tackle by Joel.

Walker threat

Kyle Walker was also a persistent threat to the hosts with his rampaging forays down the right flank as South China struggled to contend with his turn of pace. From one such raid Defoe had a shot blocked on the edge of the area, and was denied again moments later by Zhang's reaction save after being picked out by Rose's left-wing cross.

Villas-Boas's charges were by now dominant, and might have taken the lead on 25 and 28 minutes when Dempsey's chip cleared the bar after Scott Parker had sent him through with a lofted pass, and Defoe sent a shot against the post, but both forwards would make amends by scoring before the interval.

Defoe set up Dempsey for the north Londoners' second goal, on 34 minutes, beating his marker down the left before cutting the ball back for the American to score from close range, while Defoe ended his frustration when he reacted first to Walker's deflected free-kick to apply a simple finish on the stroke of half-time.

Defoe lively

Though the Hong Kong champions threatened sporadically, with the lively Bruno Martins firing over and wide early in the second half, Spurs extended their lead on 54 minutes when Defoe charged down Zhang as he attempted to clear and side-footed his second goal of the evening into an empty net.

Defoe passed up the opportunity to beat Zhang for a third time when Sigurdsson teed him up for an angled drive that the goalkeeper stopped well with an outstretched foot, but with 10 minutes remaining the England international completed his treble when he was again set up by Sigurdsson to finish coolly.

Martins was unfortunate to see his arrowing effort brilliantly tipped over the bar by Hugo Lloris and he missed his cue at the death when poking a shot wide of goal, but the visitors were worthy of their impressive win which was completed when Andros Townsend curled in a 20-yard free-kick with his left foot.  

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