George Graham led Spurs back into Europe after an absence of seven years and warned Tottenham they should guard against the unknown and asked the fans to be patience as the part timers from Zimbru were drawn in the first round. The Moldovan league had only been in existence eight years and Zimbru had won it seven times losing just two games in two seasons.
The first game was at White Hart Lane and Tottenham took the lead after three minutes. Stefan Iverson took a free kick after he had been brought down, he found Oyvind Leonhardsen who drove the ball home. Just after the half hour Leonhardsen sent in a free kick which Chris Perry Perry headed home. The second half saw Ginola link with Perry before Tim Sherwood finished the scoring. Tottenham could (and should) have added to the score.
Top Pic - Iversen in the first leg. Below - Stefan Freud in same game.
The second leg had just 7,000 in the ground (around 500 of them Spurs fans). As Spurs set out to ensure the home team didn’t get back into the tie and the nearest their came to scoring was near the end when with Walker beaten Perry cleared off the line. Otherwise it was just several long range shots that went wide. Tottenham has several chances to increase the lead but the game ended 0-0.
The next opponent was the German side 1FC Kaiserslautern. Once again we were home in the first game and David Ginola showed his range of skills as he promoted Tottenham. It did however take until just after the half hour when we won a penalty. Despite the visitors complaints a penalty was awarded and Iversen fired home the only goal of the night.
The second leg and there was the question had we done enough? The ramifications had actually stared before the game.
Graham decided to drop Ginola and bring in Steve Clemence as an extra midfielder.
David Ginola was the man the home side had feared.
right - Leohardsen in Germany.
Tottenham handed their team sheet in first and when the home side took there’s to the referees room they saw Ginola was omitted rushed back to the dressing room and changed their team and while the sheet was handed in their tactics.
The Germans were held at bay until the 90th minute and Tottenham starting to believe they had squeezed into the next round when Buck scored and extra time loomed.
Till then Walker had saved a number of shots from the Germans who should have done better.
As we fought our luck had seen us home then almost beyond belief two minutes later and Carr turned the ball into his own goal and Tottenham had crashed out.
Left - Tim Sherwood in the second leg.
Grahams caution was widely seen in the press and on the terraces to having cost us the tie. He had not been a popular choice and with his Arsenal connections he struggled to win the Spurs fans over. Usually referred to as the man in the raincoat rather than mention his name. As the Germans piled on endless pressure Spurs seemed unable to relieve the pressure and Ginola was finally introduced in the 81st minute to try and relieve the pressure by which time the Germans had their tails up and sensed the tie could be turned round. Tottenham’s forwards should have made more of their few chances which would see us through but the fates decreed otherwise. Tottenham’s return to Europe was over and we would not participate again until 2007.
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