Pasadena (US), July 29 (IANS) FC Barcelona defeated Tottenham Hotspur on penalties after a 2-2 stalemate during regulation time in an International Champions Cup pre-season friendly match here.
With both teams missing several of their key starters following the World Cup, including Lionel Messi for the Catalans and Harry Kane for Spurs, it was left to the respective teams’ supporting cast to take the centre stage and stake their claim to more prominent roles in the coming campaign.
Barcelona started Saturday night’s match brightly, taking an early lead after a well-worked goal through Munir, who had the simplest of headed finishes after a sweeping move, reports EFE news agency.
Barcelona continued their dominance as the half progressed, and new signing Arthur from Brazil doubled their lead just before the half-hour mark with a ferocious strike from outside the box.
Spurs pulled a goal back midway through the second half after Son converted a loose ball which Barcelona’s defence had failed to clear.
Tottenham had the equaliser moments later, although it was another rather scrappy affair as Nkoudou smashed it in from close range after a couple of shots had been blocked on the line.
Barcelona secured the win with five successful penalties in the shootout to decide the match, with Cillessen making the crucial save from Georgiu.
Tottenham kick off their Premier League season with a trip to Newcastle on Aug. 11, while Barcelona’s first competitive action is against Sevilla in the Spanish Supercup on August 13.