Defoe ends Leeds adventure
Leeds' fabulous FA Cup run finally came to an end as they went down 3-1 to Spurs as Jermain Defoe's hat-trick set up a trip to Bolton.
Last Updated: 03/02/10 10:09pm
Leeds United's fabulous FA Cup run finally came to an end as they went down 3-1 to Tottenham Hotspur.
A hat-trick by Jermain Defoe - who could easily have plundered more - was enough to end the League One side's resistance in a pulsating fourth round replay.
The England striker gave the Premier League side the lead after 37 minutes when his mis-hit volley looped over the valiant Casper Ankergren and in.
But Leeds were level on the stroke of half-time when Argentine striker Luciano Becchio pounced after Heurelho Gomes could only parry Jermaine Beckford's prod goalwards.
It was pretty much one-way traffic after the break and the packed Elland Road crowd could hardly argue when Defoe put the visitors back in front with a crisp finish from a fine cross from man-of-the-match David Bentley.
The tiring home side tried to find a way back in the remaining 17 minutes but rarely looked like producing another fairytale end as Defoe ran clear in added time to confirm Spurs' fifth round trip to Bolton.
Defoe missed a hatful of first-half chances to put the tie to bed, just as he had done against Leeds in London, and Grayson's side harried and chased to keep most in an Elland Road crowd of 37,704 full of expectation until the visitors' decisive second goal.
Defoe fluffed a golden chance to give the visitors a first-minute lead when pouncing on a blunder by Hughes, only to scuff his shot and Bassong volleyed an early corner over the crossbar.
Peter Crouch then chested down for Defoe to fire a shot inches wide as Spurs burst out of their blocks, just as they had done at White Hart Lane 11 days ago.
Defoe squandered another chance when one-on-one with Ankergren in the 25th minute as the striker's low shot came back off the Danish goalkeeper's legs.
Defoe's searing pace then caught Leeds flat-footed again when chasing a long ball over the top, but Lubo Michalik's desperate lunge went unpunished by referee Andre Marriner.
Ankergren thwarted Defoe again 10 minutes before the break, this time after Tom Huddlestone's lay-off, but the pint-sized forward broke the deadlock in the 37th minute, ironically from a mis-hit effort after Bentley had cleverly slipped his marker, Hughes, down the right.
Defoe controlled Bentley's cross and miscued to send the ball arcing lazily over Ankergren into the top corner.
Spurs goalkeeper Gomes then saved brilliantly to keep out Michalik's header from Howson's free-kick as Leeds launched an immediate response.
But there was no denying Becchio in first-half stoppage-time. Beckford's shot on the turn was parried by Gomes, but the Argentinian forward rammed home the rebound to level the scores.
Ankergren kept out Michael Dawson's 59th-minute header which appeared destined for the top corner and was equal to Bentley's fierce drive soon after as Tottenham probed - but Leeds refused to buckle.
Defoe sidefooted home Kranjcar's cross in the 68th minute, but his effort was ruled out for offside.
The League One side were not to be spared in the 73rd minute however. This time Bentley's low cross eluded the Leeds rearguard and Defoe nipped in to turn the ball home from six yards.
Leeds never stopped running and pressed for another unlikely equaliser, but with time running out Defoe latched on to another ball over the top to round Ankergren and roll home his third in time added on.
|Leeds United||Team Statistics||Tottenham Hotspur|
|1||1st Half Goals||1|
|6||Shots on Target||11|
|3||Shots off Target||10|