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Son shines to see Spurs go through

Europa League: Shkendija 1 Tottenham Hotspur 3

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Tottenham Hotspur’s Joe Hart celebrates with
Son Heung-min (l) and manager Jose Mourinho

Tottenham Hotspur’s Joe Hart celebrates with Son Heung-min (l) and manager Jose Mourinho

REUTERS

Tottenham Hotspur’s Joe Hart celebrates with Son Heung-min (l) and manager Jose Mourinho

Son Heung-min and Harry Kane again stepped up when needed as they got Tottenham out of trouble in a Europa League third-round qualifying win over Shkendija.

Son and Kane starred in the 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, with Son bagging four and Kane notching four assists and a goal, and they both scored again in the final 20 minutes in North Macedonia as Spurs progressed to a play-off against Maccabi Haifa next week.

Erik Lamela had put them in front early on but a fine strike from Valmir Nafiu in the second half had threatened to make it a nervous night for Jose Mourinho's men.

Mourinho called for Kane, who began the game on the bench, but it was Son who restored the lead in the 70th minute before the England captain settled the contest nine minutes later.

It was not pretty for Spurs, but they got the job and will play the Israeli side in a one-off game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Thursday for the chance to make it through to the group stage.

Mourinho's men will have been pleased with the start they made as they took a fourth-minute lead.

Lamela was left in acres of space at the back post and Son picked him out perfectly, with the Argentinian slotting home with his right foot.

That could have been the launchpad for a much easier evening, but despite controlling the game they struggled to create too many chances.

Dele Alli, who was playing after being left out of the last two games, had the best of them before half-time as Spurs again got in down the right and Serge Aurier pulled back for the England international, but his shot was brilliantly saved by Kostadin Zahov.

The inability to put the game to bed in that opening 45 minutes soon came to bite Spurs as Shkendija stunned them with a 55th-minute leveller.

Ben Davies gave the ball away and it ended up at the feet of Nafiu, who arrowed an unstoppable shot past Joe Hart and into the top corner.