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Sheriff Tiraspol 0-2 Tottenham

Updated: Friday, 25 Oct 2013 07:54 | Comments

Jan Vertonghen headed the north Londoners ahead after just 12 minutes
Jan Vertonghen headed the north Londoners ahead after just 12 minutes

Jermain Defoe equalled Martin Chivers' club record of 22 European goals for Tottenham as Andre Villas-Boas' side secured three points against Moldovan champions Sheriff Tiraspol.

The 31-year-old, now in his second spell with the north Londoners, rifled home his sixth of this year's Europa League to help Spurs secure a 2-0 victory.

Not only did it leave the Spurs on the cusp of the knockout stages, but the strike saw Defoe equal Chivers' long-standing European scoring record.

The former England striker was part of the UEFA Cup-winning side of 1972 - a feat the current Spurs side look capable of matching.

Favourites with the bookmakers, Tottenham are one of five teams in this year's competition to have previously lifted the trophy and have won all five matches this season without conceding a goal.

Their latest victory leaves them on the cusp of Group K qualification, although the win at Sheriff was by no means easy.

Previous matches in Tbilisi and Moscow were relative cakewalks in comparison to the 2,742-mile round trip to the communist state of Transnistria.

Despite having its own currency, police, army and border guards, the region remains unrecognised by any sovereign nations and, to all intents and purposes, is considered part of Moldova, whose league Sheriff have won 11 times since 2000.

They impressed at a packed-out Stadionul Sheriff, although Jan Vertonghen headed the north Londoners ahead after just 12 minutes.

Vlad Chiriches was forced to make a stunning block at full stretch to prevent Henrique grabbing an immediate leveller, while Cadu, Ismail Isa and Richardinho also came close for the hosts.

However, having seen Aaron Lennon, making his first start since the opening day, strike the post moments earlier, Defoe fired home with 15 minutes remaining to secure victory and his place in the record books.

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