MX23RW : Saturday, June 12 15:20:45| >> :120:22487:22487:
Jul 24, 2013 at 11.30am UK at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium
SpursTottenham Hotspur
1-3
Sunderland
FT(HT: 1-1)
Cabral (33'), Brown (64'), Karlsson (79')

Live Commentary: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Sunderland - as it happened

Relive Sports Mole's coverage of the Asia Cup fixture between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland.
2

Sunderland are through to the final of the Asia Cup after they recorded a 3-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur.

The match looked in some doubt after heavy rain in Hong Kong, but after a 30-minute delay, Spurs took the lead through Gylfi Sigurdsson.

However, Sunderland equalised before the break through Cabral, and after goalkeeper Vito Mannone kept them in the match, they dominated the final 20 minutes.

Defender Wes Brown headed in his side's second goal, before David Moberg Karlsson wrapped up victory in the final minute.

Read below to see how the action unfolded in the Hong Kong Stadium.


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Hello, and welcome to Sports Mole's coverage of the match between Tottenham Hotspur and Sunderland in the Asia Cup.

Today match's is the opening fixture in what is the sixth staging of this tournament. Manchester City and South China will follow later, but first up is an encounter between these two Premier League outfits.

We will have team news for you as soon as we get it, but we are unlikely to see Gareth Bale. The Welsh winger has been linked with a move to Real Madrid in the past 24 hours, but he is also said to be suffering with a knock.

SPURS XI: Gomes; Walker, Caulker, Dawson, Rose; Huddlestone, Parker, Lennon, Sigurdsson; Dempsey, Adebayor

So, that's a pretty strong lineup that Andre Villas-Boas has selected. I'm sure there will be plenty of alterations as the match wears on though. No news yet on the Sunderland team.

Sunderland have been one of the most active teams in the transfer market not just in England, but in Europe too. Manager Paolo Di Canio seems intent on rebuilding a squad that only just survived in the Premier League last season, making over half a dozen signings.

The early indications are that four of Di Canio's new signings have been named in the Sunderland starting lineup, including Emanuele Giaccherini, who they have signed from Juventus.

SUNDERLAND XI: Mannone; Brown, Cabral, O'Shea, Colback; Larsson, Gardner; Johnson, Sessegnon, Giaccherini; Altidore

Vito Mannone, Cabral and Jozy Altidore are the other three incomings on show for the Black Cats. The club's supporters will be familiar with Mannone and Altidore, but this may be their first look at Switzerland Under-21 international Cabral.

There has been no definitive news on each set of substitutes, but I would imagine that each manager can make as many changes as they wish. Don't quote me on that just yet though...

Both teams have already been in pre-season action this summer. Tottenham have yet to pick up a victory in their opening two encounters, drawing with Swindon Town and Colchester United respectively.

As for Sunderland, they have played in two behind-closed-doors practice matches during a training camp in Italy. Not sure why they needed to be played behind-closed-doors, but there you go.

As I mentioned earlier, this is the sixth time that the Asia Cup has been held. Chelsea were the first winners of the competition, while they are also the defending champions from two years ago. However, they are not in Hong Kong this time around, handing the opportunity to Spurs to try to win their second trophy, after their success in China in 2009.

We are less than 20 minutes away from kickoff in the Hong Kong Stadium. The two teams may be on the other side of the world, but they were being made to feel at home moments ago. It was throwing it down with rain, but it seems to be a little brighter now.

Forget that, it is still raining heavily. Very, very heavily.

Coincidentally, these two sides met in the final game of the Premier League last season. Spurs won the match 1-0, but it wasn't enough to see them earn a place in this season's Champions League.

Now then, I think this torrential rain could be causing quite a few problems. It doesn't look like the game is going to get underway at the scheduled kickoff time. I will bring you an update as soon as I can.

This doesn't look good at all. There are puddles all over the pitch, and some random guy in a mack. There is also a very selfish umbrella holder, who isn't sharing it with the officials.

To add to that, the umbrella holder is out there in a t-shirt.

It sounds as though the officials are going to speak with the two teams.

Remember Poland against England last year? Well, we are talking that level of rain. The one side of the pitch looks like the shallow end of a swimming pool.

Everyone seems in deep discussions, but they would be crazy to start this match as it is.

Keep in mind that South China against Manchester City is to follow after this match, plus two more matches later in the week. Manchester United are due to play here on Monday too.

Everyone seems to have come to the stadium in t-shirts, but armed with umbrellas. I'm guessing it must be fairly humid out there, or else that is some flawed logic. Robbie Williams is currently belting out 'Let Me Entertain You' on the tannoy. I reckon that might be the only entertainment that the fans get today.

Well, this is new. We will get underway in about 25 minutes, with 40 minutes being played in each half. I'm still really pessimistic about this game being started, and even more so about it being finished. But stick with us, I'm sure this isn't going to go to plan!

The word is that the rain is easing slightly in Hong Kong, but it needs to stop completely, and fast. The pitch will be a mess for the Manchester City match.

You would think that this match is going to play at a snail's pace now. Both managers won't want their players sprinting about and turning sharply on this pitch.

So then, we are only 10 minutes away from the second attempt to get this match started. Fingers crossed this time!

Some of the Sunderland players are emerging from the tunnel to complete the final phases of their warm-up. Understandably, they are not being allowed onto the pitch, with their drills being done behind the goal.

Good news. The rain has stopped now. Maybe this match could be completed after all.

The two teams are exchanging handshakes out on the pitch. Looks like Aaron Lennon has been trying to perfect the Moussa-Dembele beard while he has been away. There are still plenty of puddles on the one side of the pitch.

We are underway in Hong Kong.

Early free-kick for Spurs, around 30 yards out. Dempsey was blocked by Brown after trying to sprint his way through the puddles.

Decent effort from Gylfi Sigurdsson, but his curling effort flies just wide of the left post. Vito Mannone had it covered though.

Plenty of players are already slipping and sliding, but that's to be expected. Sunderland had a free-kick out on the right touchline, but it was easily cleared.

That was very nearly Sunday football level stuff. Mannone cleared the ball and the bounce off the wet surface deceived Caulker. However, he was able to get back to deny Sessegnon before he could get a clear shot away.

More intent from the Back Cats. Johnson saw his shot blocked by a defender, before Giaccherini curled a tame shot wide of Gomes's post.

It's raining again...only drizzle though.

Actually, it's a bit stronger than drizzle. Not good. The pitch is total mess. Spurs are playing some neat football, though, but they aren't really making much inroads.

If this rain continues, and they are drawing at half-time, maybe they might just decide to go to penalties to save the pitch. Just throwing that suggestion out there. It's very much stop-start out there at the moment. This isn't really doing anyone any good right now.

Free-kick to Spurs on the edge of the penalty area after a foul on Adebayor. It's Dempsey who steps up this time, but his strike barely left the ground, and was cleared by the Sunderland wall.

Larsson just reached a distance of about four metres with an unintended slide in the centre of the pitch. That resulted in Huddlestone getting a chance from 30 yards out, but his driven shot was blocked by O'Shea.

For any Sunderland supporter wondering why Altidore hasn't been mentioned, I think he has only touched the ball twice. There is still little happening in the final third of the pitch for either side.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-0 Sunderland (Sigurdsson)

Like I said, nothing was happening...until now. Spurs take the lead and it is a well-worked goal that originated down the right. Walker got himself to the byline before crossing for Sigurdsson to convert from 12 yards, with the little help of a deflection.

CHANCE! Sunderland show some ambition going forward, and they are only denied an equaliser by the quick reactions of Gomes, who sprinted off his line to prevent Altidore getting a shot off from eight yards.

Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Sunderland (Cabral)

Spurs looked as though they were beginning to stamp their authority on the match, but a mistake by Huddlestone has undone their hard work. He lost the ball in the centre of the pitch, and it was soon rolled through to Cabral to place the ball past Gomes inside the penalty area.

It's all Sunderland now. They earn themselves a free-kick outside of the Spurs penalty area, which Gomes is forced to palm away, somewhat unconvincingly, from Gardner

HALF TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-1 Sunderland

For all those joining us late, we are playing just 40 minutes per half due to the wet conditions. It took a while to get going as a contest, but the last 15 minutes delivered. It should be an interesting second half.

Given the state of the pitch, it's difficult to forge an opinion on how either side is looking in terms of their preparation ahead of the new season. It's one of those games where you just have to take it for it is, which isn't the greatest spectacle but it's helping with the fitness of the two teams.

Spurs have generally looked the brighter of the two teams. Kyle Walker has looked impressive down the right, while Emmanuel Adebayor has worked hard in attack. For Sunderland, Altidore and Giaccherini have rarely got on the ball, but the club's supporters would of been impressive with the composure of Cabral when scoring the equaliser.

I imagine this half-time break might be a little shorter than 15 minutes. The officials might be eager to get the two sides back out there with South China and Manchester City still to come.

Here they come. It appears as though Jermain Defoe is being brought on by Villas-Boas. Not sure who he is replacing.

Jan Vertonghen is also on for Spurs in place of Steven Caulker. It's Lennon who has departed for Defoe.

The referee blows for the restart.

CHANCE! To be fair to him, I think that he thought that he was offside. But embarrassingly for Altidore, he wasn't. The ball deflected to the American who was six yards out, but he completely misses the ball. Half a connection would surely have put his side into the lead.

A quick note on if this finishes level after 80 minutes. We will go straight to penalties.

Vertonghen is down soon after coming on. He landed awkwardly after a 50-50 challenge, and there seems to be some concern over his ankle.

The Belgian looks as though he is being withdrawn by Villas-Boas. It looks like an injury that could potentially keep him out of the start of the season. Zeki Fryers is going to be the player to come on. We are still awaiting for the game to get underway.

CHANCE! It's a little bit selfish by Altidore, but he comes close once more to giving his side the lead. He opted against laying the ball off to a teammate in the penalty area, before turning sharply and sending the ball inches past the far post.

CHANCE! Super football from Spurs. Defoe plays in Dempsey from the halfway line, who in turn passes to Adebayor. The Togo striker's shot is heading for the top corner, only to be well tipped over by Mannone.

There's some fine football being played by both sides now, which is surprising on this pitch. I would expect there to be more goals in this match.

Sunderland are going to get their first look at another one of their new signings, as El Hadji Ba is limbering up on the touchline.

CHANCE! Mannone has pulled off another tremendous save, this time from Defoe. An excellent cross from Rose was well-controlled by Defoe, who turned and struck a powerful shot on goal from eight yards, but the Italian was equal to the task.

Here come the substitutes. Ba is on for Larsson, while Moberg Karlsson has been brought on in place of Johnson.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-2 Sunderland (Brown)

Just when it looked like Spurs were edging this contest, Sunderland take the lead. Moberg Karlsson has an immediate impact by delivering the perfect corner kick for Brown to get the better of Fryers and head powerfully past Friedel.

Villas-Boas reacts to falling behind by preparing to bring on Andros Townsend. Spurs do look threatening going forward, but they only have 11 minutes to find an equaliser.

Townsend comes on for Dempsey, while Tom Carroll is also being introduced into the action in place of Huddlestone.

CHANCE! Spurs are throwing men forward, but it leaves them open to the counter-attack, and Sunderland nearly take advantage. Sessegnon is through on goal, but opts to play the ball to Altidore, but his shot is well turned away by Friedel.

Another substitution for Sunderland, who bring on Wickham for Altidore. Literally seconds after his arrival, he draws a remarkable one-handed save from Friedel from a glancing header.

Less than three minutes to go in Hong Kong, but there might be a bit of injury-time after the ankle problem sustained by Vertonghen.

GOAL! Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Sunderland (Moberg Karlsson)

FULL TIME: Tottenham Hotspur 1-3 Sunderland

Forgot about that injury-time. It isn't needed. Sessegnon played in Moberg Karlsson, who ran through towards Friedel's goal before slotting the ball under the goalkeeper to seal victory for his side.

It's effectively only a pre-season friendly, but this result is quite a shock. Tottenham played their part without being clinical in front of goal, and Sunderland took full advantage. Manager Paolo Di Canio will be very encouraged by what he has seen today.

Sunderland progress to Saturday's final, where they will face the winners of the match between South China and Manchester City, which you can follow here.

That will be all from this match. Thank you for joining us today, and be sure to keep up-to-date with the Asia Cup with Sports Mole throughout the competition. Goodbye for now.

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1 Italy Italy11003033
2 Switzerland Switzerland10101101
3 Wales flag Wales10101101
4 Turkey Turkey100103-30
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TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
CManchester CityMan City38275683325186
2Manchester UnitedMan Utd382111673442974
3Liverpool38209968422669
4Chelsea381910958362267
5Leicester CityLeicester382061268501866
6West Ham UnitedWest Ham381981162471565
7Tottenham HotspurSpurs381881268452362
8Arsenal381871355391661
9Leeds UnitedLeeds38185156254859
10Everton38178134748-159
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12Newcastle UnitedNewcastle38129174662-1645
13Wolverhampton WanderersWolves38129173652-1645
14Crystal Palace38128184166-2544
15Southampton38127194768-2143
16Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton38914154046-641
17Burnley38109193355-2239
RFulham38513202753-2628
RWest Bromwich AlbionWest Brom38511223576-4126
RSheffield UnitedSheff Utd3872292063-4323

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