Tottenham holds Real Madrid to 1-1 in Champions League
By TALES AZZONI
Oct. 17, 2017
MADRID (AP) — Cristiano Ronaldo got the best of Harry Kane in the duel between two of Europe's most prolific forwards, but Kane's Tottenham celebrated after taking a 1-1 draw from Real Madrid in the Champions League on Tuesday.
Tottenham proved tough to crack against the defending champions at Santiago Bernabeu Stadium and held on for the draw that kept both clubs at the top of Group H and in good position to advance to the knockout round.
The English club scored first with an own-goal by Raphael Varane as the Madrid defender tried to clear a cross intended for Kane.
Ronaldo equalized for Madrid by converting a penalty kick just before halftime after Toni Kroos was fouled.
Kane had a great chance to give Tottenham the victory but his close-range shot was saved by goalkeeper Keylor Navas midway through the second half in one of the game's best scoring opportunities.
"They were going to have chances, it was going to be a tough game," Kane said. "A point at the Bernabeu, you'd take that every day of the week. It shows how far we've come as a team."
The unbeaten sides meet again in England in two weeks.
"We'll try to win at Wembley. We don't need to change a lot," Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane said. "We aren't happy as we were at home and we always want to win, but we had our chances."
The teams remain tied for the group lead with seven points and the same number of goals scored and conceded.
In the other group match, APOEL held Borussia Dortmund to 1-1 at home, leaving both teams with one point each.
"This point we earned today means a lot," Tottenham coach Mauricio Pochettino said. "It may help us advance from the group stage."
Tottenham arrived looking for a good performance to show it can compete against the best in Europe. And it was back and forth at the Bernabeu.
"The result is not the most important thing," Pochettino said. "What makes me happy is the fact that we came here and competed against Real Madrid."
All eyes were on Ronaldo and Kane, who arrived as the tournament's top scorers after two group-stage matches. Kane had five and Ronaldo equaled him by converting the penalty on Tuesday.
Tottenham opened the scoring in the 28th minute after Varane found his own net while trying to clear Serge Aurier's cross directed to Kane, who was not able to get his foot to the ball.
Ronaldo's goal came after Kroos was brought down by Aurier inside the area. The Portugal forward sent a firm shot into the corner as Tottenham goalkeeper Hugo Lloris went the other way.
Ronaldo, who scored twice in each of the team's first two games, was denied by the post on a fifth-minute header, and by Lloris on a pair of dangerous shots in the second half.
Kane squandered what could have been the game-winner in the 71st after entering the area free from defenders but failing to get the ball past the Madrid goalie.
"Today was a game for keepers," said Navas, who was returning from injury. "It's hard to score goals and we tried. We wanted a clean sheet, too, but sometimes you can't do anything about it."
Lloris also played well and made a brilliant save with his foot after a close-range header by Karim Benzema in the second half.
"We were better in the first half and we had some good chances to score," Lloris said. "At this level it's a great feeling to get a good draw."
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