first_img Defoe could not believe referee Chris Foy pointed for a corner rather than a spot-kick in what proved a rare attacking moment for Gus Poyet’s men. Sunderland goalkeeper Pantilimon was doing well to keep his side in the game, producing a smart save to deny a low Eriksen strike before using his giant frame to thwart Roberto Soldado. The Romanian bettered those saves when denying a wonderful, goalbound strike from Eriksen, although when Fletcher inexplicably failed score an open goal it looked like the visitors would fail to capitalise. His blushes would be saved, though, as Vertonghen gave away what proved to be a costly free-kick. The centre-back was booked for foolishly scything down Defoe, who looked to have been in an offside position at the start of the move, allowing Larsson to curl home a wonderful equaliser from 25 yards. Spurs desperately tried to regain their lead, which they came close to doing in first-half stoppage time when Harry Kane struck the post. Spurs resumed play in the ascendancy, with Eriksen producing some wonderful skill on the edge of the box before sending a half volley across the face of goal. Nacer Chadli and Kane had efforts blocked as the home side pushed for a goal, with Emmanuel Adebayor brought on in a bid to change the dynamics of the game. It was the Togo striker’s first appearance since November 9 and his introduction in place of Soldado was met by boos from a smattering of Spurs fans. Kane struck wide as Spurs continued to press, with Sunderland’s only noteworthy opportunity a powerful Defoe strike stopped by a timely Eric Dier tackle. The Sunderland new boy was replaced by Graham as the visitors looked for a spark, although Spurs were still on top. Andros Townsend, Danny Rose and Kane were threatening, while at the other end Graham wasted a wonderful chance for a goal after Lloris failed to hold onto Adam Johnson’s initial strike. It was a let-off the hosts made the most of. Townsend squared the ball along the edge of the 18-yard box and Eriksen struck a low effort off the inside of the post to send White Hart Lane into raptures. Lloris again thwarted Graham in stoppage time, producing a fine save, before Vertonghen scored his second on the break – only for it to be ruled out for offside. Mauricio Pochettino’s side had looked like they would be frustrated as wayward finishing and an impressive display from Costel Pantilimon saw them struggle to add to Jan Vertonghen’s early strike, which came via a large deflection off John O’Shea. The Belgium international was soon back at the heart of the action, hacking down Defoe to give former Arsenal midfielder Sebastian Larsson the chance to curl home a wonderful equaliser. That was Defoe’s most telling contribution, as he failed to make Sunderland the sixth club with whom he marked his league debut with a goal. The man who replaced him in the second half, Danny Graham, was twice denied Hugo Lloris – chances which came either side of the match-winning 88th-minute strike by Eriksen. It was a frantic end to a match which saw a goal inside three minutes. A poor Sunderland clearance saw the ball fall kindly for Vertonghen, who showed good feet to make himself space for a strike which found the back of the net following a large deflection off O’Shea. The Belgium international celebrated the opening goal with a Superman pose – although moments later he was very nearly the villain. Steven Fletcher produced a lovely flick into the path of Defoe and the Sunderland new boy turned into Vertonghen, hitting the deck inside the penalty area. Jermain Defoe was unable to continue his remarkable run of marking club debuts with a goal as Sunderland suffered a last-gasp defeat at former club Tottenham. Just 11 months after leaving White Hart Lane for Toronto FC, the 32-year-old returned to his old stomping ground after completing a move to the north-east strugglers on the eve of this match. Defoe received a warm reception in north London but left frustrated, with Christian Eriksen’s late strike – his third in as many games against Sunderland – securing Spurs a 2-1 win in the dying minutes. Press Associationlast_img read more


first_imgAfter losing their last five games in the Big Ten season, a break from the grueling conference schedule may be just what the Wisconsin women’s basketball team needs to get back on track.For the last non-conference game of the year, the Badgers will play host to the Panthers of Eastern Illinois Monday in the Kohl Center at 7 p.m.Eastern Illinois enters the game with a record of 8-10 overall and is coming off a 15-point win over Tennessee State Saturday. The Panthers played a difficult non-conference schedule and lost their first six games of the year.But since then they are 8-4, including 7-4 in the Ohio Valley Conference, and are just a game and a half out of first place in the conference.Eastern Illinois is led by a pair of Megans. Senior guard Megan Sparks averages 15.8 points and three rebounds a game; 5-foot-7 freshman Megan Edwards has scored in double figures in eight straight games and has been named the conference freshman of the week three weeks running. She also leads the team in assists with 3.3 per contest and had a career high eight in Saturday’s win over Tennessee State.The Badgers may benefit from their size advantage over Eastern Illinois, as the tallest player the Panthers can put on the court is 6-foot-2 while Wisconsin can put two forwards on the court that are both listed at 6-foot-4.This Wisconsin team has been hampered by injuries and is looking to get healthy with multiple starters out of the lineup.Senior forward Annie Nelson has been playing very few minutes since her right shoulder injury, and sophomore point guard Janese Banks has not played since early January. Banks, the second-leading scorer on the team, has been out with a left foot injury.”Without a true point guard out there right [now], we’re trying to run hits to get it to Jolene (Anderson) and kicks to Ashley (Josephson),” UW head coach Lisa Stone said. “Hopefully, we get Janese (Banks) back soon. We hope to hear more positive news. Hopefully she can start practice on Saturday or Sunday and get her out here on Monday night.”Replacing them in the starting lineup has been guard Shari’ Welton and center Caitlin Gibson.Gibson, a true freshman from Jefferson, Wis., is averaging 17 minutes a game while getting used to the physical play of the Big Ten.Welton has just five career starts under her belt but has played admirably filling in, averaging five points and an assist in her last five games.”Players have stepped up and Shari’ has done a great job for us,” Stone said. “They’re all stepping up to the challenge and they are not afraid of anybody and I’m proud of our kids.”The Badgers will also be without the services of backup guard Akiya Alexander, who was declared academically ineligible for the second semester.The Badgers have really relied a lot on Anderson, a preseason all-Big Ten selection, to carry the load. The sophomore has responded by leading the team in scoring eight out of the last ten games. She also has five double-doubles on the year while leading the team in scoring (17.4) and rebounding (7.1).Wisconsin will need Anderson and company to have a big day to end their current five-game skid.”Right now we’re mentally drained,” Stone said. “You have to regain some confidence and a mental edge.”A win Monday will definitely go a long way to helping the Badgers get some much-needed confidence for the stretch run of their conference season.last_img read more