Harry Kane scored a screamer but the MLS All-Stars held on to beat Tottenham 2-1 in Denver on Wednesday.
Kaka and David Villa fired the hosts into a 2-0 lead, before Spurs star Kane hit back with a stunning individual effort – but the All-Stars held on for their third win in the past four editions of the exhibition match.
Despite missing a raft of big names that had been voted into the representative side, it was the All-Stars who lit the game up in a frantic three-minute period midway through the first half at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park.
Kaka converted from the spot in the 20th minute after David Villa’s corner struck Nacer Chadli’s raised arm in the area.
Kane almost provided the immediate response for Spurs – his second of four on-target shots in the first half seeing him denied from point-blank range by Nick Rimando.
But the hosts went straight up the other end and made it 2-0 in the 23rd minute, Villa deflecting Kaka’s shot into the back of the net with his left foot.
Kane was not dispirited despite being denied thrice previously by Rimando – every one of those shots were from close range – with the England international having more success from outside the box, capitalising on Matt Besler’s slip in midfield.
With only Omar Gonzalez and Rimando ahead of him, Kane dribbled his way to the 25-yard mark before hitting a right-foot shot across his body into the top-left corner to bring Tottenham back into the contest.
The All-Stars were buoyant early against a Spurs side appearing in a friendly for the first time in two months, with Clint Dempsey pressuring former team-mate Jan Vertonghen into a first-minute mistake – but Graham Zusi’s resultant shot rocketed wide.
Sixty seconds later, Dempsey tried to chip Spurs custodian Michel Vorm, but it was Kane who produced the first on-target shot of the contest in the ninth minute – volleying Moussa Dembele’s blocked effort from close range, but Rimando was up to the task.
The first half was summed up by the All-Stars’ three-minute blitz and ‘Kane v Rimando’, which the Premier League star finally got the better of eight minutes from half-time.
Pablo Mastroeni changed his XI completely at the break, while Mauricio Pochettino withdrew Kyle Walker, Nabil Bentaleb, Christian Eriksen and Vertonghen.
Spurs dominated the run of play after the re-start, but were unable to breakdown the new-look XI – despite Chadli’s best efforts to save face after conceding the spot-kick.
Pochettino further tinkered with his line-up when subbing off another five players just past the hour-mark, although Kane notably remained on the park.
Kei Kamara’s bursting run down the left got the fans excited, and his cross in for Fabian Castillo looked set to lead to the All-Stars’ third goal – only to be thwarted by Danny Rose’s desperate lunge.
Tottenham’s best chance to equalise fell to Joshua Onomah, who was put through on goal by Kane, but David Ousted did Rimando proud – getting down low to save.
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