Sanchez’s Colombia lose opener with Spurs centre back not at his best

Tottenham Hotspur centre back Davinson Sanchez (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images).

Tottenham Hotspur centre back Davinson Sanchez (pic: Adam Davy/PA Images). - Credit: PA Archive/PA Images

After such a strong first campaign at Tottenham Hotspur, the 22-year-old looked nervy during his country’s World Cup opener

Davinson Sanchez’s World Cup debut was far from ideal as he played his part in Colombia suffering a 2-1 defeat to Japan in Group H on Tuesday.

After an impressive first campaign with Spurs, the 22-year-old was looking to show his quality during his country’s opening game.

It went horribly wrong from the start, however, with Sanchez involved in the third-minute decision to send off team-mate and namesake Carlos Sanchez and award Japan a penalty.

The Tottenham Hotspur defender misjudged the bounce of a ball around 40-yards-out and lost out to Yuya Osako, who ran through on goal.

Although Arsenal’s David Ospina denied the Japanese attacker, the ball rebounded to Shinji Kagawa and his shot was blocked by the hand of ex-Aston Villa midfielder Sanchez inside the penalty area.

The Colombian received his marching orders and Kagawa sent Ospina the wrong way from 12-yards.

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Juan Quintero’s free kick did surprisingly get Sanchez’s country back on level terms, but Osako put Japan back in front with 17 minutes left when he headed home from a corner.

It ensured it was a disappointing debut outing at the World Cup for Spurs’ youngster and Colombia sit bottom of the group after the opening round of matches.

Sanchez did manage to make an impressive block while the score was 1-1, but it didn’t count for much in the end.

The nervy display of the ex-Ajax centre back only highlights the fine job Jan Vertonghen did in nurturing him last season.

While Sanchez’s talent is undeniable, he is very much raw defensively and one of the reasons Spurs supporters largely saw the best of him in the 2017/18 campaign was most likely down to the calming influence of Vertonghen alongside him.

More Tottenham players will be involved tomorrow (Thursday) when Group C resumes with Denmark and France both in action.

Christian Eriksen will look to lead his nation to another victory when they take on Australia at 1pm.

Three hours later, at 4pm, Hugo Lloris will captain France in their clash with Peru and both Spurs players will hope to make it six points from a possible six come the conclusion of both fixtures.