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Tottenham advance after Panathinaikos scare

Tottenham Hotspur FC 3-1 Panathinaikos FC
Two goals in the last 12 minutes helped the north London outfit to a Group J victory and a place in the UEFA Europa League's round of 32.

Jermain Defoe celebrates with Aaron Lennon and Moussa Dembélé
Jermain Defoe celebrates with Aaron Lennon and Moussa Dembélé ©AFP/Getty Images

Tottenham Hotspur FC marked their 100th match in the UEFA Cup and UEFA Europa League by qualifying as runners-up from Group J courtesy of a 3-1 home victory over Panathinaikos FC.

A second-half own goal from goalkeeper Orestis Karnezis and a clever Jermain Defoe finish put the north London side in the clear after Zeca had stunned White Hart Lane with a 54th-minute equaliser. Emmanuel Adebayor had fired André Villas-Boas's team ahead just before the half-hour mark.

Tottenham made the breakthrough from their first attack of note. Narrowly beating the offside trap, Adebayor raced onto a sublime pass from Clint Dempsey and coolly slotted past Karnezis. The hosts should have extended their lead eight minutes later when Defoe blasted over from eight metres. The same player then struck a post after the interval with a fierce left-footed strike, after Dempsey had once again been the architect.

Then came the Greens's shock equaliser. After fabulous wing play from the impressive Nikos Spyropoulos, goalkeeper Brad Friedel was given no chance by Zeca's thunderous header. It might have been worse for Tottenham had Toché's weak shot not drifted wide after a mix-up between Kyle Naughton and Jan Vertonghen.

However, the Premier League outfit regained the initiative when Dempsey's header crashed in off the underside of the crossbar and the unfortunate Karnezis. Victory, and a place in the round of 32, was crowned by a delightful clipped finish from Defoe eight minutes from time.