Unlike many teams playing in third round, both sides only made limited changes to their starting XI’s and unsurprisingly Spurs dominated the ball during the opening exchanges, although they were limited to half opportunities, the best of which fell to Christian Eriksen.
It was actually Boro that came closest to breaking the deadlock during the first half, as they were denied three times in one move, with Spurs goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga twice saving efforts from Dael Fry before Toby Alderweireld blocked George Saville’s goal-bound strike.
However, five minutes into the second half and Boro did get their noses in front when Ashley Fletcher broke a poorly timed Spurs offside trap before sliding the ball past the advancing Gazzaniga.
Spurs weren’t behind for long though, as 12 minutes later Serge Aurier’s pinpoint cross was headed home at the far post by Lucas Moura.
Jose Mourinho’s side certainly looked the more likely of the two teams after that, although Boro did almost restore their lead when a mistake from Jan Vertonghen allowed Fletcher a free strike at goal, but his effort went straight down the throat of Gazzaniga.
At the other end, Erik Lamela’s bouncing long-range effort drew the best from Boro goalkeeper Tomas Mejias, who was making his first appearance for the club since returning to the Riverside during the summer.
Mejias also denied a stinging effort from Lucas as Spurs began to turn the screw in the latter stages, although Aurier wasted the visitors’ final chance when he blasted over from an acute angle.
The two teams will now have to contest a replay at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium later this month – an extra game that Spurs could certainly do without.