Tottenham Hotspurs record signing Erik Lamela scored his first goal since his arrival from Roma in the transfer window and won a penalty, to lead his side to a 2-1 Europa League win over Sheriff Tiraspol at White Hart Lane.
England striker Jermaine Defoe was on hand to take the spot-kick to score his 24th European goal making him Tottenham Hotspurs all-time leading goal scorer in the continental competition ensuring a victory for the hosts as well as a place in the knockout stages.
Spurs started off strongly against the Moldovan champions and had a host of chances in the first 45 minutes of play.
Early in the first-half Belgium midfielder Mousa Dembélé forced a great save out of Sheriff goalkeeper Vjekoslav Tomic with a fierce left-footed drive which was heading for the bottom corner, until the Moldovan side’s shot-stopper stuck out a strong hand to palm the ball out for a corner.
The Londoners went close once more soon after, this time Etienne Capoue took a shot which flashed just past the Tomic’s right hand post.
Andre Villas-Boas enjoyed majority of the possession and created most of the chances but the visitors did not sit back and pushed forward in attack when able with neither side being able to find the breakthrough in the first-half.
Spurs’ most expensive summer signing then finally broke the deadlock on the hour mark after an impressive outing for the London club.
Lamela has struggled with form since his arrival from the Italian capital and has taken his time to settle into life at White Hart Lane, but the Argentine got on the score-sheet for the first time in a Tottenham shirt when Christian Eriksen's through ball landed up at his feet via a deflection, and the forward slammed a low left-footed volley into the bottom corner.
Tottenham were 2-0 up just seven minutes later after Roma’s top scorer last season dribbled his way into the Sherriff box and was brought down by Djibril Paye to win his side a penalty.
Striker Defoe then scored his landmark goal from the penalty spot and fired his side into the Europa League knockout stages, even though the Moldovan minnows scored a consolation goal through Ismael Isa in the 72nd minute.