Tottenham Hotspur FC coach Martin Jol and his RSC Anderlecht counterpart Frank Vercauteren declared themselves satisfied after the 1984 UEFA Cup finalists were pitted together in Group G of the competition at Tuesday's draw.
Hapoel Tel-Aviv FC, Aalborg BK and Getafe CF, who are competing in Europe for the first time, complete the Group G lineup but it is the meeting of Tottenham and Anderlecht that stands out in the section. The fixture will bring back happy memories for the north London side who are celebrating their 125th anniversary this season.
The dreaded lottery of penalties decided the outcome in 1984 with Tottenham prevailing to win the competition for the second time. Tony Parks' save from Arnor Gudjohnsen secured victory after the tie had finished 2-2 on aggregate. The Brussels team had looked set to retain the trophy when Alex Czerniatynski scored an hour into the second leg at White Hart Lane. But a late Graham Roberts equaliser in a 1-1 draw, added to the goalkeeping heroics of Parks, ensured otherwise.
The two clubs will meet again in the Belgian capital on 6 December, with Jol confident of taking his side through to the knockout stage. "I'm pretty satisfied," Jol said. "You can only assess the group on paper and my feeling is that it could have been a lot tougher for us. Anderlecht away will be a hard one, but it is the final game for us and hopefully we will have done the business by then. They have got fanatical supporters, just like we've got, so that should be a special night with the history between the clubs in this competition."
Tottenham were knocked out by Sevilla FC in last term's quarter-finals and, despite a poor start in the Premier League, they will expect to match that at least this time round. Anderlecht coach Vercauteren also believes his charges have a good chance of prolonging their European campaign into the new year. "It's a good draw for Anderlecht," he said. "We avoided a number of top teams, on paper at least. But in this draw there is the danger of drawing conclusions too soon. People might say, 'Oh, that's going to be easy', but I don't believe that.
"So it is also a dangerous draw, because expectations will probably be high. Some of our opponents we know, some of them we have to discover, but they will all have their own qualities." Group G kicks off on 25 October when Anderlecht host Hapoel Tel-Aviv and Tottenham entertain Getafe, before AaB begin their bid for glory on 8 November at home to the Belgian giants.
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