ANTWERP – Belgian league leaders Antwerp secured a shock 1-0 win over Tottenham Hotspur in their Europa League clash on Thursday thanks to veteran striker Lior Refaelov’s first-half goal.
The result was a second win for Antwerp and puts them top in Group J, three points ahead of Spurs and LASK of Austria.
Antwerp dominated the first half and went ahead just before the half-hour mark after a defensive lapse by Ben Davies allowed Dieumerci Mbokani to steal away the ball and set up the Israel international for a solid finish.
Four substitutions at the start of the second half reflected the irritation of Spurs manager Jose Mourinho, but Antwerp continued to look the more dangerous despite the changes.
Straight after the break it took a last-ditch defensive lunge by Tottenham’s Davinson Sanchez to deny the home side a second goal, before Mbokani had an easy chance at the back post in the 54th minute, but somehow managed to miss the target.
Simen Juklerod then forced Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris to tip the ball over the crossbar as Antwerp kept creating chances, before missing a gilt-edged opportunity at the end of 72nd-minute breakaway.
He outstripped the visiting defence and had only the goalkeeper to beat but shot wildly over.
In between, Harry Kane came on for Gareth Bale but the Spurs skipper was also unable to ignite a comeback as Antwerp proved defensively solid to hang on for the win.