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Jermain Defoe was relieved to score the penalty that helped Tottenham beat Sheriff Tiraspol to become the club’s all-time leading scorer in European football.
The 31-year-old netted from the spot in the 67th minute of Spur’s 2-1 triumph over the Moldova champions to give the north Londoners a 2-0 lead after Erik Lamela had opened the scoring just seven minutes earlier.
And it proved to be a vital goal as the visitors pulled one back in the 72nd minute to keep the home faithful on the edge of their seats for the last 20 minutes of the match.
The victory kept up Andre Villas-Boas’ side’s perfect record in the competition and ensured that they are already in the draw for the knock-out stage with two group games still to go.
Defoe slotted home from 12 yards after Lamela had been fouled in the box and the former Portsmouth man admitted his pride at notching his 23rd European goal to move past Martin Chivers on the club’s roll of honour.
“I had to stay patient and I am delighted to score the goal and take the European scoring record,” he told BBC Sport. “What an opportunity to do it, I was confident with the penalty.”
And the England international hit-man confessed that the man whose record he took was actually on hand at White Hart Lane to act as motivation.
“I saw Martin Chivers at half-time,” he added. “He said to me to keep going and I would get the record. He’s a legend.”