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Kane scores 1st goal of 2020 in Tottenham’s 2-0 win over West Ham

London, Jun 23 (efe-epa).- Harry Kane scored his first goal of 2020 to help lead Tottenham to a 2-0 victory over fellow London club West Ham United in Premier League action here Tuesday, a win that boosts the Spurs’ chances of securing a spot in next season’s Champions League.

Playing at a higher level than in their previous outing last Friday against Manchester United (albeit against an inferior opponent), the hosts dominated possession in this behind-closed-doors, Matchday 31 contest at Tottenham Hotspur Stadium and also created higher quality scoring chances thanks in large part to the play of Giovani Lo Celso in midfield.

The Argentine orchestrated the most dangerous scoring opportunity of the first half when he set up South Korean teammate Son Heung-min for an apparent score in the area just before halftime.

The goal, however, was disallowed for offside after a VAR review.

The Spurs kept pressing after the intermission and nearly opened the scoring on a left-footed shot by Kane that barely missed the mark.

The first goal of the contest finally came in the 64th minute thanks to some luck on a corner-kick opportunity. Lo Celso sent the ball into the area to teammate Davinson Sanchez, whose bouncing header ricocheted off the leg of defender Tomas Soucek and past West Ham net minder Lukasz Fabianski.

The goal stood after a VAR review even though the ball appeared to have grazed Sanchez’s arm.

The visitors had a chance for the equalizer midway through the second half on a shot by Jarrod Bowen that clanked off the woodwork.

But instead Tottenham doubled their lead in minute 82 when Kane received a pass from Son on the counterattack and converted a one-on-one scoring opportunity against Fabianski for his first goal since Dec. 29.

The Spurs superstar lay on the ground with an expression of relief on his face after the score – a rare highlight in a season in which he needed surgery for a hamstring injury and then had to wait for the coronavirus-interrupted season to resume.

“Waited a long time for that! Perfect night to win and get back on the scoresheet,” Kane tweeted late Tuesday.

With the win, the Spurs moved up to seventh in the standings with 45 points and are just one point out of the Champions League zone with seven games remaining in the season.

West Ham are in 17th place and could find themselves in the relegation zone in less than 24 hours depending on the results of two matches Wednesday involving 18th-place Bournemouth and 19th-place Aston Villa.

In one other Premier League match on Tuesday, third-place Leicester City and 15th-place Brighton & Hove Albion played to a scoreless draw behind closed doors at King Power Stadium in Leicester, England. EFE-EPA

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