Dempsey scores in Spurs rout of South China

Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of Spurs 2013 preseason against South China on Saturday. (Photo: Tottenham Hotspur)

Clint Dempsey scored his first goal of Spurs 2013 preseason against South China on Saturday. (Photo: Tottenham Hotspur)

American International Clint Dempsey scored his first 2013 preseason goal for Tottenham Hotspur, while Jermain Defoe recorded a hat-trick as the Spurs crushed South China 6-0 in the third place match of the Barclays Asia Trophy preseason tournament at Hong Kong Stadium on Saturday.

Dempsey got the start up top in a 4-3-3 beside Defoe and Aaron Lennon. The Nacogdoches, Texas native had been linked with an offseason move away from Spurs, but has quieted speculation with two straight preseason starts for the London club.

The former New England Revolution and Fulham star was involved in the game’s opening goal in just the 12th minute as he picked up the ball off a pass from Mousa Dembélé, dribbled through the box to the end line, then sent a back heel to fullback Danny Rose. Rose hit a cross through the box that deflected off South China defender Tse Sean Ka Keung and past goalkeeper Zhang Chunhui for an own goal.

Dempsey then should’ve doubled the lead in the 27th minute when he got behind the defense off a fantastic chip from Scott Parker. Dempsey brought the ball down brilliantly in stride and then one-on-one with Chunhi, attempted to chip a ball over the keeper, but sent his shot high of the net.

The 6-foot-1 striker who scored 12 goals through all competitions for Spurs last season, wouldn’t make the same mistake when he had another chance in the 34th minute. This time Defoe beat his man to the endline, cut back and sent a pass back to Dempsey, who one-timed a shot into the bottom corner to make it 2-0 Spurs.

Defoe would make it 3-0 just before halftime when a Kyle Walker free kick was deflected by the South China wall and fell perfectly to the England International in the box, who took a touch before slotting it past Chunhi from close range.

Dempsey exited the match for Tom Carroll at halftime, but Defoe would continue the scoring eight minutes after the break when he blocked an attempted clearance from Chunhui, ran in alone on goal and easily scored on the empty net.

Defoe would complete his hat-trick in the 80th minute when Gylfi Sigurdsson stabbed a through ball with the outside of his foot, allowing Defoe to escape the defense and run in goal. Defoe slotted a shot past Chunhi, beating him at the near post from just a few yards out to make it 5-0

Andros Townsend finished the rout in the 85th minute, curling in a free kick from 20 yards to make it 6-0.

Spurs next travel to Monaco to face freshly promoted French Ligue 1 side AS Monaco at the Stade Louis II in a preseason friendly on August 3rd. Spurs Premier League campaign kicks off with a trip to face Crystal Palace on August 18th.

Tottenham Hotspur (4-3-3): Lloris; Rose (Fryers 68), Dawson, Caulker, Walker (Naughton 46); Dembele (Huddlestone 68), Parker (Livermore 68), Sigurdsson; Lennon (Townsend 68), Defoe, Dempsey (Carroll 46).

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About Sean Donahue

Sean Donahue has been covering the New England Revolution since 2002 for various publications. He has covered four MLS Cups, in addition to covering various international matches, including World Cup Qualifying and the CONCACAF Gold Cup. He has done freelance work for the AP and ESPN Boston. Sean hosted Revolution Recap, a weekly radio program covering the New England Revolution and U.S. Men's National Team from 2005-2008. He is a member of the North American Soccer Reporters. Sean can be reached at nesoccertoday@gmail.com or followed on twitter @SeanLDonahue