A much-changed Tottenham side endured a horror evening in Slovenia as they were embarrassed by NS Mura to leave their hopes of making the Europa Conference League last 16 hanging by a thread.
Amadej Marosa’s injury-time goal sealed the result after Harry Kane looked to have salvaged a point for 10-man Spurs.
Kane chipped in after Tommy Horvat opened the scoring and Ryan Sessegnon’s red reduced woeful Spurs’ numbers.
It means second place in Group G is the best Spurs can hope to achieve.
In their final group game, Spurs host unbeaten Rennes, who have already won the group courtesy of Thursday’s victory over Vitesse Arnhem.
The Dutch side are level on points with Antonio Conte’s side and host Mura in their final match. Both games take place on 9 December.
Finishing second in the group would mean a two-legged play-off for Spurs to reach the last 16, with both games being played in February.
Conte’s second string flunk the test
If Spurs’ new Italian boss was under any misapprehension about the size of the task he has on his hands in trying to restore the club’s fortunes, Thursday laid it bare.
They still have a competitive first-choice XI, but on this evidence those looking to break into it are woefully short of what is needed.
Tanguy Ndombele failed to get any kind of grip on midfield, the defence looked vulnerable even to Mura’s modest frontline and Dele Alli floated tamely through the contest before being replaced in the 54th minute.
Kane was one of two players to keep their starting place from Sunday’s win over Leeds and gave us a glimpse of that famed predatory instinct with his well-taken chipped equaliser but for the rest of the time was a lumbering shell of his former self, full of poor touches and fluffed shots.
It could be argued that Sessegnon was seeking to show eagerness in his first start since late August but it was foolish to lunge in to earn a second booking on the half-hour after he had already seen yellow for hauling a man back earlier in the first half.
The introduction of Son Heung-min, Lucas Moura and Ben Davies early in the second half injected more purpose and threat and it was they that helped build up the momentum for the leveller.
But in pushing for a late winner that would have ensured at least a play-off spot, they over-committed, leaving room for Mura to break and Marosa to find the net via a deflected shot.
They will get another chance to continue this European campaign in two weeks’ time. How many more chances some of these Spurs players will get under Conte remains to be seen.
- 30GorencBooked at 22mins
- 13KaramarkoBooked at 53mins
- 14LorbekBooked at 83mins
- 7KozarBooked at 35minsSubstituted forOuroat 62′minutes
- 23SturmBooked at 64minsSubstituted forLotricat 78′minutes
- 10HorvatSubstituted forCipotat 87′minutes
- 19MulahusejnovicBooked at 27minsSubstituted forMarosaat 62′minutesBooked at 89mins
- 14RodonSubstituted forDierat 54′minutes
- 6D Sánchez
- 2DohertySubstituted forDaviesat 53′minutes
- 28NdombeleSubstituted forHøjbjergat 76′minutes
- 19R SessegnonBooked at 31mins
- 11GilSubstituted forLucas Mouraat 54′minutes
- 20AlliBooked at 53minsSubstituted forSon Heung-Minat 54′minutes
- 7Son Heung-Min
- 12Leite de Souza Junior
- 27Lucas Moura
Match ends, NS Mura 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Second Half ends, NS Mura 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1.
Goal! NS Mura 2, Tottenham Hotspur 1. Amadej Marosa (NS Mura) left footed shot from the centre of the box to the bottom right corner. Assisted by Kai Cipot.
Attempt missed. Japhet Tanganga (Tottenham Hotspur) header from the centre of the box is too high. Assisted by Son Heung-Min following a set piece situation.
Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Ziga Kous (NS Mura).
Foul by Eric Dier (Tottenham Hotspur).
Amadej Marosa (NS Mura) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Amadej Marosa (NS Mura) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Attempt missed. Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from outside the box is too high. Assisted by Pierre-Emile Højbjerg.
Substitution, NS Mura. Kai Cipot replaces Tomi Horvat.
Attempt missed. Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from more than 35 yards misses to the right.
Oliver Skipp (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick in the attacking half.
Foul by Amadej Marosa (NS Mura).
Attempt missed. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) header from very close range is too high. Assisted by Eric Dier with a headed pass following a corner.
Corner, Tottenham Hotspur. Conceded by Marin Karamarko.
Attempt blocked. Harry Kane (Tottenham Hotspur) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Ben Davies.
Nick Lorbek (NS Mura) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Lucas Moura (Tottenham Hotspur) wins a free kick on the right wing.
Foul by Nick Lorbek (NS Mura).