MADRID: Tottenham held Real Madrid to 1-1 in the Champions League yesterday, a result that kept both clubs at the top of Group H. Tottenham scored first with an own-goal by Raphael Varane as the Madrid defender tried to clear a cross intended for Harry Kane, and Cristiano Ronaldo equalized for Madrid by converting a penalty kick just before halftime after Toni Kroos was fouled.
Tottenham was a tough challenge against the defending champions and could have left Madrid with the victory but Kane’s close-range shot was saved by goalkeeper Keylor Navas midway through the second half in one of the game’s best scoring opportunities.
The unbeaten sides meet again in England in two weeks. They remain tied for the group lead with seven points and the same number of goals scored and conceded. In the other Group H match, APOEL held Borussia Dortmund to a 1-1 draw at home, leaving both teams with one point each.
Tottenham arrived looking for a good performance to show it can compete against the best in Europe. And it was a back-and-forth match at the Santiago Bernabeu Stadium, with both teams creating several scoring chances.
All eyes were on prolific forwards Ronaldo and Kane, who arrived as the tournament’s top scorers after two group-stage matches. Kane had five goals and Ronaldo equaled him with his goal yesterday. Tottenham opened the scoring in the 28th minute after Varane found his own net while trying to clear Serge Aurier’s cross directed to Kane, who was not able to get his foot to the ball.
Ronaldo’s goal came after Kroos was brought down by Aurier inside the area. The Portugal forward sent a firm shot into the corner as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris went the other way. Ronaldo was denied by the post on a fifth-minute header, and by Lloris on a pair of dangerous shots in the second half.
Kane had already enjoyed a great chance with a first-half header that was stopped by Navas, and then squandered what could have been the game-winner in the 71st after entering the area free from defenders but failing to get the ball past the Madrid goalkeeper. Lloris also made a brilliant save with his foot after a close-range header by Karim Benzema in the second half. – AP