Jose Mourinho forced Shkendija to replace their goals before Tottenham’s 3-1 win away at the Macedonian outfit on Thursday night.
Spurs picked up a victory in their Europa League third-round qualifier, with goals from Erik Lamela, Son Heung-min and Harry Kane enough to ensure Valmir Nafiu’s 55th-minute strike was nothing but a consolation.
However, the north London outfit may have found it a little more difficult to find the back of the net had goalkeepers Joe Hart and Hugo Lloris not spotted something unusual beforehand.
In his post-match press conference, Mourinho revealed Spurs had Shkendija’s goals replaced after Hart and Lloris noticed they were too small in the warmup.
“Before the game was a funny situation because my goalkeeper told me the goal was small,” he said.
“I went to see and it was small. The goalkeepers spend all their time in them so we know.
“I felt immediately something was wrong and we got the UEFA delegate to come in and it was 5cm too small. We asked for goals of the right dimensions.”
Son and Kane starred in the 5-2 win over Southampton on Sunday, with Son bagging four and Kane notching four assists and a goal, and they both scored again in the final 20 minutes in North Macedonia as Spurs progressed to a play-off against Maccabi Haifa next week.
Lamela had put them in front early on but a fine strike from Nafiu in the second half had threatened to make it a nervous night for Mourinho's men.
Mourinho called for Kane, who began the game on the bench, but it was Son who restored the lead in the 70th minute before the England captain settled the contest nine minutes later.
It was not pretty for Spurs, but they got the job and and will play the Israeli side in a one-off game at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium next Thursday for the chance to make it through to the group stage.
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But they will now turn their attention to a clash with Newcastle at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium this Sunday.
After slumping to a 1-0 defeat against Everton in their opening Premier League fixture, Spurs will be hoping to record their first home win of the season against Steve Bruce’s side.
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