LONDON, March 6, 2010 (AFP) - Tottenham goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes produced a fine display to earn his team a 0-0 draw against Fulham in Saturday's FA Cup quarter-final at Craven Cottage.
Gomes produced three excellent second half saves to keep Tottenham in the competition and ensure the two sides will meet again in a replay at White Hart Lane on March 24.
|Goalkeeper Heurelho Gomes (L) makes a save from Fulham's Hungarian player Zoltan Gera during the FA Cup Quarter Final football match between Fulham and Tottenham Hotspur at Craven Cottage in London on March 6, 2010. AFP PHOTO|
The Brazilian was the outstanding player in a disappointing game as he showed how far he has progressed since his nightmare performance on this ground in November 2008.
Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp admitted that display almost prompted him to sell the former PSV Eindhoven 'keeper.
Fulham's steady progress this season has taken them to a point where boss Roy Hodgson and his players approached this game knowing they were entering one of the most exciting periods in the club's history.
Next Sunday's trip to face Manchester United at Old Trafford is sandwiched between the two legs of the Europa League tie with Juventus and Hodgson admitted last week it was hard to keep those fixtures at the back of his mind.
Fulham striker Bobby Zamora had an added incentive to do well against his former club after a difficult spell at White Hart Lane.
Zamora has been in outstanding form this season and he carved out the first meaningful opening of the game in the 19th minute, creating space for himself on the edge of the box before shooting straight at Gomes.
Redknapp had opted to pair Peter Crouch and Roman Pavlyuchenko up front and it was clear he expected his forwards to win the aerial battle.
Crouch had scored twice for England as a second half substitute against Egypt in midweek, while Pavlyuchenko has forced his way into contention after scoring six goals in his last four appearances.
The partnership struggled to click, however, and few opportunities had fallen their way before Redknapp replaced Pavlyuchenko with Jermain Defoe eight minutes from time.
Crouch did manage to test Mark Schwarzer with a header midway through the first half but the Australian goalkeeper saved easily.
Apart from a rising Niko Krancjar drive that was also easily dealt with by Schwarzer, that was the sum total of Spurs' scoring opportunities before the break.
Seconds after the restart Simon Davies burst forward down the left and crossed for Zamora who headed back across goal for Zoltan Gera.
Positioned just six yards out, the Hungarian seemed set to score when he looped a header towards the far post but was denied by Gomes's acrobatic leap.
Four minutes later Fulham centre back Brede Hangeland saw a header kept out by Gomes and it was clear the home side would have to conjure something special to beat the Spurs keeper, who then saved a left-foot effort from Fulham winger Damien Duff.
Gareth Bale was again proving to be Tottenham's most productive outlet but the Welshman failed to produce the quality delivery his strikers required.
Zamora then spurned a good late chance to settle the tie as he pulled his effort well wide to sum up a disappointing game.