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Published: 18:53 | 13/2/18

Kane hails Spurs' "character" after Juve fightback


Harry Kane paid tribute to his Tottenham teammates' character after they came from 2-0 down to draw with Juventus in their Champions League Round of 16 first leg in Turin.

The visitors endured a nightmare start and were 2-0 down inside 10 minutes after Gonzalo Higuain followed up a terrific volley on two minutes by converting a penalty, awarded for Ben Davies' foul on Federico Bernardeschi.

Spurs, with the magnificent Moussa Demble orchestrating affairs, began to take control of the game however, and they deservedly pulled one back on 35 minutes when Harry Kane rounded the onrushing Gianluigi Buffon before coolly slotting into the unguarded net from a tight angle.

Following Serge Aurier's poor challenge on Douglas Costa, Higuain wasted a chance to restore the Serie A giants' two-goal lead by smashing the resulting spot-kick against the crossbar.

Mauricio Pochettino's side dominated the second period and equalised through the excellent Christian Eriksen who fooled Buffon with a cute free-kick from 20 yards.

"We could have done [capitulated], away from home in the Champions League," Kane told BT Sport. "It showed character.

"It was an excellent performance after that and we take two away goals to Wembley. Great result.

"I should have scored the header but you have to be ready for the next one and I finished it off."

Eriksen meanwhile was looking forward to the return leg on March 7th, which you can see live again on the eir Sport pack.

"We are sure we will have chances at Wembley," he said. "We go into that game full of confidence and we’re looking forward to it."

Pochettino struggled to contain his pride at how his players responded to the early setbacks.

“Fantastic game," he told BT Sport. "We were sloppy and conceded two goals in nine minutes, but the character we showed was fantastic. I want to congratulate the players - 2-0 down in Turin to a team so difficult to break down. We deserved a victory more than a draw.

“We are more mature now. In the last few weeks, the team are growing and have stepped up. It’s a good example of the capacity we have.

The team was amazing in how they reacted.

“You need some luck always in football. The tie is open, Juventus are a massive team. We have the hope we can win in Wembley.”

Juventus' Federico Bernardeschi shared Eriksen's confident feeling about the second leg.

“Being under pressure is to be expected at this level, as we were facing a strong opponent, but we played with the right grit and determination,” he told Mediaset Premium.

“After going 2-0 up, we couldn’t possibly maintain that tempo.

“It’s a pity about the 2-2 result, because we deserved to win, but we’re confident going into the second leg. We go there aware that we can win.”

The Champions League continues on Wednesday night with Real Madrid's Round of 16 first-leg tie against Ligue 1 side Paris Saint-Germain at the Santiago Bernabeu, live on eir Sport 2 [kick off 7.45pm]. Liverpool's trip to Portugal to face Porto is also on the eir Sport pack, live on BT Sport 2 [kick-off 7.45pm].

Image: Getty Images/Michael Regan

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