MELBOURNE, Australia, July 26 – Kenya’s captain Victor Wanyama impressed on his Tottenham debut as an inexperienced Spurs side kicked off the club’s pre-season campaign with a narrow 2-1 defeat to Juventus in Melbourne on Tuesday.
Spurs have left a number of key players at home for the International Champions Cup campaign, including Harry Kane and Eric Dier, but their youthful team showed encouraging signs – especially in the second-half – against a Juventus team that included Paulo Dybala and Miralem Pjanic.
Dybala and Medhi Benatia gave the Serie A giants an early lead but Erik Lamela reduced the defecit in the second period after a powerful run from new signing Victor Wanyama, who made his first Spurs appearance along with striker Vincent Janssen.
The Turin giants, who won a fifth consecutive Serie A championship this season, struck early through Paulo Dybala and Medhi Benatia to lead 2-0 at half-time.
Argentinian star Erik Lamela sparked a Spurs comeback when he came on for the second half, scoring a goal and almost grabbing another.
Spurs paid dearly early on for failing to clear the ball when defender Dominic Ball lost possession and Roberto Pereyra picked out fellow Argentinian Dybala.
Dybala went one-on-one with Dutch goalkeeper Michel Vorm and found the bottom corner in just the sixth minute.
The Spurs defenders were punished again when they failed to clear a corner and Moroccan Benatia headed home eight minutes later.
New Bosnian signing Miralem Pjanic should have made it three early in the second half when he was released by Brazilian Hernanes, but he blazed his shot over the bar.
Tottenham pulled a goal back in the 67th minute when playmaker Lamela finished neatly after Victor Wanyama won possession on halfway.
Lamela almost scored again but his shot was beaten down by Juve’s Brazilian goalkeeper Neto.
Neto also had to make a smart save in stoppage time to prevent a Spurs equaliser through Shayon Harrison.
Juventus leave Australia with a win and a defeat on penalties to Australian A-League side Melbourne Victory. Spurs face Spanish European Champions League finalists Atletico Madrid on Friday.