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Dempsey scores twice but Tottenham knocked out of Europa League
Dempsey scores twice but Tottenham knocked out of Europa League

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Dempsey scores twice but Tottenham knocked out of Europa League

Clint Dempsey tried to play the Europa League hero for Tottenham on Thursday, scoring twice as his team took its quarterfinal tie against Basel all the way to penalties.

The two teams came into the match level at 2-2 after the first leg, but Dempsey had Spurs out in front 23 minutes in.

A ball forward from Jan Vertonghen slipped through Basel defender Aleksandar Dragovic's legs as he slid to clear near the top of the box. Dempsey, who was already making a run in behind, pounced on the ball, rounded the 'keeper with his first touch and slotted home.

Mohamed Salah brought Basel back level just four minutes later, poking home after latching onto a pass from Valentin Stocker.

Dragovic put his team in front after the break. A poor parry from Tottenham goalkeeper Brad Friedel fell directly to the defender, who made amends for his mistake on Dempsey's goal.

Dempsey brought Tottenham back into the match in the 82nd minute with his second of the night. A ball from Tom Huddlestone was taken off the chest by the Texan, who used his toe to poke it past the onrushing goalkeeper.

The fightback led to 30 scoreless minutes of extra time and then on to penalty kicks. Huddlestone took the first Tottenham first spot kick, but Yann Sommer saved and gave Basel an advantage early in the shootout.

Emmanuel Adebayor missed Spurs' third try from the spot and Friedel couldn't come up with any stops of his own, helpless to stop Basel winning 4-1 on penalties and knocking Tottenham out of the Europa League.

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