Shaquille Coulthirst was the shining light for Tottenham on a bitterly cold night at Leyton Orient's Matchroom Stadium as Sporting Lisbon sealed victory in extra-time to make it through to the semi-finals of the NextGen series.
The 18-year-old striker was a constant threat as he continually ran the channels and stretched the Sporting defence. His strength in holding off defenders and brining the midfielders into play was another encouraging aspect of his game.
Coulthirst was unable to get on the scoresheet but demonstrated just why he has caught the eye of first team manager Andre Villas-Boas who recently named him on the bench for the Premier League game against Fulham.
The striker, who joined the academy on a full-time basis in the summer of 2011, worked tirelessly all night and got some reward for his effort when he won a late penalty which gave Spurs a slim lifeline.
Tottenham had been second best for much of the night, with goalkeeper Lawrence Vigouroux unfortunately making some costly errors, but Coulthirst's energy and ability to occupy the two centre half's will have been a major plus for the coaching staff.
Despite an impressive showing from the striker it was a difficult night for Tottenham who did well to force extra time. They fell behind after just seven minutes after Sporting striker Aleberto Coelho neatly lifted the ball over the advancing goalkeeper.
Spurs were back in the game just minutes later as Nathan Oduwa levelled matters but Coelho soon grabbed his second of the game after good work on the wing from Ricardo Esgaio.
The Portuguese side continued to look in control in the second half when Ruben Semedo cooly converted a penalty after being brought down by Vigouroux and it seemed as though they would comfortably see out the game.
However, Coulthirst won a late penalty which was converted by Laste Dombaxe and in the fifth minute of injury time Tottenham managed to come up with an equaliser thanks to a scrambled goal by Roman Michael-Percil.
Sporting took the lead after a speculative effort from Alexandre Guedes somehow slipped under the Spurs keeper and then came the goal of the night.
Powerful central midfielder Atud Fokobo, who had looked the outstanding player on the pitch, hit a thunderous volley from 45 yards which left the keeper with absolutely no chance. The 19-year-old made his first team debut against Porto earlier this month and he is certainly a name to look out for.
Tottenham were unable to get back in the game and exit at the quarter-final stage but there were plenty of positives, and the performance of Coulthirst will only add to his growing reputation as an extremely talented young striker.