Tottenham 1 Nice 1: Doherty scores as Kane is rested for final friendly before Premier League return against Brentford
HARRY KANE was given some extra rest – as close pal Matt Doherty kept up his friendly hot streak against Nice’s familiar faces.
Striker Kane, 29, returned to Spurs training on Monday after a week’s holiday which followed England’s World Cup campaign that ended with his penalty agony.
The Three Lions went out at the quarter-final stage, losing to eventual finalists France but it was particularly tough on captain Kane as he ballooned a second-half spot-kick over the bar.
He was allowed to put his feet up here, having started every match in Qatar.
Whereas England team-mate Eric Dier, who only played a few minutes at the World Cup, came on as a sub against a Nice side boasting a number of ex-Premier League stars.
Kasper Schmeichel, Ross Barkley, Joe Bryan and Nicolas Pepe – on loan from Arsenal – were playing in black and red, though there was no Aaron Ramsey.
Former Chelsea and Everton man Barkley drew a smart early stop from Fraser Forster.
While Pepe received some pantomime booing for his connection to Tottenham’s arch-rivals.
Doherty has netted three goals in two exhibitions at the club’s training ground, bagging a brace against Motherwell and another versus Peterborough’s Under-21s.
The Irishman broke the deadlock here too, crashing in at Schmeichel’s near post after being teed up by Dejan Kulusevski.
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Doherty, 30, struggled for regular game time in the period before the World Cup as he battled back from a serious knee injury.
He has put in the hard yards during the mini ‘pre-season’ over the last six weeks, claiming the physical work Antonio Conte has put those left behind through has been even more gruelling than what they faced in actual pre-season.
The ex-Wolves wing-back said: “I can’t really explain the training any other way than it has just been tough. It has been like pre-season all over again. It feels like it has almost been worse this time around, mind.”
The hard work certainly seemed to be paying off for him here.
Though Nice, bossed by Lucian Favre who once turned down Crystal Palace, levelled early in the second half through Antoine Mendy.
Former Bayern Munich defender Dante, 39, headed a corner against Doherty, allowing the ball to rebound to Mendy who found the net from 12 yards.
World Cup participants Dier, Ben Davies and Son Heung-min all came on after the break to warm applause from the 8,000 Spurs fans attending.
In the end, a winner could not be found, but it was still a decent workout before the stuff that matters starts up again at Brentford on Boxing Day.
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