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Spurs open new stadium with U18 PL victory

25 Mar 2019
Tottenham Hotspur Stadium opens

Under-18 side beat Southampton 3-1 as 29,000 fans try out new ground in first of two test events

Tottenham Hotspur opened their new stadium in style as their Under-18s beat Southampton 3-1 in an Under-18 Premier League fixture. 

In the first of two test events ahead of the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium's inaugural Premier League match, against Crystal Palace on 3 April, Spurs'  Under-18s got two early goals before a crowd of almost 29,000.

A local boy, J'Neil Bennett, brought up in Camden, north London, had the honour of being the first player to score in the 62,062-seat stadium, before Harvey White doubled the lead from the penalty spot. 

At half-time, an emotional Spurs manager Mauricio Pochettino addressed the crowd to express his pride at the stadium. It will, he says, have a "massive impact on the team" in their quest to finish in the top four of the Premier League and to progress in the UEFA Champions League.  

"I got the same feeling on the last day when we left White Hart Lane," Pochettino said. "We were crying.

"The first day here, at the new stadium, I feel the same emotion.

"We are nearly crying because our dream became true and we have to say thank you, first of all, to [Spurs chairman] Daniel Levy because in 2001 when he started to believe in that dream."

After the break Southampton pulled a goal back through Kornelius Hansen, but Dilan Markanday's goal ensured Spurs started with a victory that closed the gap on Arsenal at the top of the South Group to just one point with a match in hand. 

The next test event will be a Spurs Legends match v Inter Forever on 30 March before the Palace match, which will also feature an opening ceremony.

See: Tottenham Hotspur Stadium ticket information

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