Tottenham Hotspur FC withstood a second-half rally from SK Slavia Praha in their UEFA Cup Round of 32 first leg to win 2-1.
First-half goals from Dimitar Berbatov and Robbie Keane put the English club in a seemingly comfortable position. However, Slavia responded well in the second period and got themselves back in the tie through David Střihavka after goalkeeper Radek Černý's error.
Slavia do not return from their mid-season break in the Czech 1. Liga until Saturday and started slowly, with Tottenham taking advantage after only four minutes. Jermaine Jenas's determined run into the penalty box was halted but the ball broke to Berbatov who drove a low shot into the bottom corner from just outside the area. Slavia gradually got into the game and fashioned a couple of half-chances as Jaroslav Černý shot over namesake Radek's crossbar. However, Spurs doubled their lead on the half-hour as Jenas found Keane who raced clear of the defence before clipping beyond Slavia goalkeeper Martin Vaniak.
The visitors had a glut of opportunities before half-time to all but end the contest with Aaron Lennon and Tom Huddlestone going close, and Berbatov forcing a superb double save from Vaniak. The second half began in much the same manner with Huddlestone and Keane having decent efforts yet the hosts got back into the match, and the tie, on 69 minutes when David Hubáček's speculative high cross was fumbled by Radek Černý and Střihavka pounced. Slavia were a changed side: Střihavka fired across the face of goal with ten minutes remaining and five minutes after that, the Prague team spurned their best chance to restore parity as Erich Brabec thumped a header against the crossbar following a corner. However, Spurs held on to take a 2-1 cushion into next week's second leg in London.
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