Luca de la Torre’s late strike clinched an impressive win for Fulham at Tottenham in their last pre-season friendly.
The American midfielder continued his excellent summer form to fire home nervelessly with two minutes remaining after being teed by Stephen Humphrys.
In a match played behind closed doors at Hotspur Way in Enfield, chances were few and far between. Fulham were indebted to stand-in skipper Marcus Bettinelli for making a superb early stop from Shaydon Harrison but the Championship side stood up well to their hosts’ domination of possession with Michael Madl marshalling the defence magnificently. Such was Tottenham’s frustration that Heung-Son Min smashed wildly off target after a slalom run had brought him to the edge of the Fulham area.
Fulham operated mostly on the break and fashioned their finest opening of the first half on the half hour when Ryan Sessegnon’s ball reached Cauley Woodrow but the striker’s instinctive finish was turned aside by Michel Vorm. Denis Adeniran drove a 20-yarder from the subsequent well-worked short corner straight at the Dutch goalkeeper.
Slavisa Jokanovic made four substitutions at half time and Lasse Vigen Christensen almost provided a telling contribution within three minutes of coming up. The Danish midfielder did superbly to retrieve Ryan Fredericks’ cross but no team-mate could connect with his clever cut back. Denis Odoi’s first touches in a Fulham shirt were almost as telling when he squared for Humphrys, but the young striker couldn’t continue his fine goalscoring form as his shot was blocked by Cameron Carter-Vickers.
Humphrys then turned provider for Matt Smith, who looked to be caught by Luke McGee as he rounded the Tottenham goalkeeper, but the referee adjudged that the Tottenham substitute had got a telling touch on the ball. The Premier League side probably should have gone ahead in the closing stages with Nacer Chadli shooting wastefully over when well placed and Harrison also completely missing the target having jinked away from Richard Stearman.
Fulham made them pay for their wastefulness. Humphrys raced onto Christensen’s clever pass and picked out de la Torre, who measured a fine finish into the far corner. Jesse Joronen made sure of the win with a pair of brilliant saves to keep out Vincent Janssen and Harrison as Spurs pressed for a late leveller.
TOTTENHAM HOTSPUR (4-2-3-1): Vorm (McGee 45); Trippier, Amos, Ball, Carter-Vickers; Mason (Bentaleb 45), Wanyama (Winks 45); Son, Chadli, Pritchard (Janssen 73); Harrison.
FULHAM (4-2-3-1): Bettinelli (Joronen 61); Fredericks (Odoi 61), R. Sessegnon (Edun 61), Madl (Kalas 45), Ream (Stearman 61); Tunnicliffe (de la Torre 61), Adeniran (Parker 45), Aluko (Humphyrs 45), Ayite (Christensen 45), Cairney (Adeniran 61); Woodrow (Smith 61).
GOAL: de la Torre (88).