Tottenham started the World Cup with a dozen players representing ten countries. With the semifinals on the horizon, Spurs only have three players from three countries left.
In the end, there will be only one country that wins the World Cup, which means there are going to be a lot of disappointed footballers this holiday season. For Tottenham Hotspur, it has been more disappointment and despair than delight, although 25% of Spurs’ original total is still playing on after a difficult quarterfinal round. With some players coming home while others are going on.
Spurs players coming home after a tough end
Spurs entered the quarter-finals with six players participating. The round started with a major upset as Richarlison and Brazil were knocked out on penalties against Croatia. Richy entered the match with three goals in the tournament but barely saw the ball as Croatia fought for possession and prevented Brazil from ever finding a rhythm.
Richarlison was replaced six minutes before the end of regulation and was not on the pitch for either goal or the shootout. It was a disappointing end to a good tournament from the Brazilian, who opened some eyes with his play and goals, giving Antonio Conte something to think about.
Just as Richarlison’s tournament ended in disappointment, so did the competition for Spurs’ English players, Eric Dier and Harry Kane. Dier saw limited action across the five games England played, but Kane was in the thick of things for the Three Lions.
Kane showed his passing range in the tournament with his three assists, and Kane scored two goals, including one to draw England level with France at one. Nevertheless, most people will remember Kane blasting a second penalty attempt over the crossbar, missing an opportunity to tie the game for a second time.
It was a difficult moment for Kane and the country. We can only hope he bounces back stronger from the miss, which was a cruel end to what looked like it was going to be a good run.
A Tottenham trio is continuing to play in the competition
While three Tottenham players are going home, three more are moving on with a chance to win the Cup still alive. While Kane was able to beat his teammate for the last decade, Hugo Lloris, with his first penalty, his second did not, and the Frenchman moved on.
For Lloris, you could see the emotion on his face as players came to congratulate him on Kane’s miss. Besides the only conceding one of two penalties, Lloris had six save – four more than he had in the entire tournament before the game – and several big claims as he controlled the penalty box. Lloris is now only two wins away from history but will face a cinderella Morocco side that is hard to break down.
On the other side of the bracket, Ivan Perisic moves on after helping Croatia overcome Brazil. Perisic played the entire match, spending as much time playing defense as on offense against the potent Brazilian attack. After eliminating one South American teammate, Perisic will go against another in the semifinals.
Cristian Romero is the final Spurs player still in the Cup, playing a big part in the Argentina defense. It was probably Romero’s best match thus far, with a couple of tackles and some sharp passing before he was replaced with less than a quarter-hour to play.
We know for certain either Romero or Perisic will be playing for the Championship; the question is if two Spurs will be playing or just one. The good news is we will find out soon enough.