English Premiership

Kranjcar gives Tottenham win

2011-02-05 21:54
Niko Krancjar scored for Spurs. (Gallo

London - Tottenham substitute Niko Kranjcar scored in injury time on Saturday, for a 2-1 win over visiting Bolton and three vital points in the chase for a second straight top-four Premier League finish.

The Croatia midfielder's 25-meter (yard) shot sealed victory for a Spurs side that also had a goal disallowed.

Rafael van der Vaart put Tottenham ahead with a sixth-minute penalty, and converted another a minute later, only for it to be chalked off because of encroachment by other players. Jussi Jaaskelainen saved the retaken kick.

Tottenham's Jermain Defoe was only denied another penalty because of a late offside decision against Peter Crouch, before on-loan Chelsea striker Dean Sturridge equalized in the 55th.

Referee Mark Clattenburg pointed to the penalty spot after just five minutes.

Jaaskelainen scrambled away Crouch's header, but it reached Spurs defender Vedran Corluka, who was on the ground. The Croatia international tried to punt the ball back into the danger area, but it struck Bolton striker Kevin Davies, who was also on the ground, on the hand.

Van der Vaart coolly planted the spot kick past Jaaskelainen, and got the chance for another goal when Sam Ricketts hacked down the speeding Aaron Lennon as he slalomed into the area.

Van der Vaart hit the ball high to Jaaskelainen's right, but Clattenburg spotted Wilson Palacios and others encroaching into the area and ordered the kick to be retaken. Van der Vaart went for the same spot again, but sent the ball the wrong side of the post.

Clattenburg awarded another penalty in first-half injury time when Bolton's Mark Davies handled the ball from Crouch's header, but the assistant referee raised his flag after spotting Crouch in an offside position.

Davies helped create the equalizer, carrying the ball deep into the Tottenham half to feed Sturridge for the striker to hit a swerving left-foot shot under goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes.

Spurs midfielder Jermaine Jenas hit the Bolton post with a 63rd-minute free kick, and Jaaskelainen saved at point-blank range from halftime substitute Steven Pienaar before Kranjcar, on in the 78th, stepped up to smash in the winner.

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