Football: Slick England open with an easy victory over holders
Portugal Under-21. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .0
OWN-GOALS of one kind or another did nothing for the hopes or reputation of Portugal, the holders of the Toulon Trophy, in their opening match of this year's tournament against England here last night.
Not that England were in need of the help given by Nuno Luis, who scored an own-goal, and Paolo Ferreira, who got himself sent off two minutes from time for spitting.
England, seeking to win this tournament for the third time in four years, were infinitely the better and, it has to be said, bigger side.
Portugal fielded a team from the squad which failed to win a game in the World Youth Championship in Australia. Conversely, England sent to France the same squad, with the exception of four players, which put their seniors to shame with quality performances in Poland and Norway.
Last night, their cohesion and fluency on a testing pitch would have been a lesson to their England elders.
They got off to a flyer. In the second minute Darren Anderton picked out Garry Flitcroft, only for the young Manchester City player to miss the connection. Nuno Luis showed him how with an assured side-footed finish past his own goalkeeper.
Portugal never recovered and after 16 minutes fell further behind. Redknapp threaded a pass to the overlapping Neal Ardley, who side-stepped his defender to cross for Mike Sheron, who had his shot pushed against the post. However, the defender Phil Whelan followed up in the manner of a born goalscorer to convert from a difficult angle. He marred his performance by making gesticulations, for which he was substituted.
ENGLAND UNDER-21: Gerrard (Oldham); Ardley (Wimbledon), Hall (Southampton), Whelan (Ipswich), Small (Aston Villa), Flitcroft (Manchester City), Awford (Portsmouth), Redknapp (Liverpool), Anderton (Tottenham), Allen (Queen's Park Rangers), Sheron (Manchester City). Substitutes: Summerbee (Swindon) for Awford, 45; Sutton (Norwich) for Whelan, 73.
PORTUGAL UNDER-21: Costinha (Boavista); Nuno Luis (Sporting), Sergio (Leixoes), Joao Costa (Nacional), Cardoso (Espinho), Marco Paulo (Estoril Praia), Bambo (Boavista), Ribeiro (Lusitania), Ricardo (Leixoes), Tulipa (Pacos Ferreira), Ferreira (Amadora).
Referee: M Harrel (France).
Latest in Sport
Arsenal vs Tottenham player ratings: Mesut Ozil? Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain? Nacer Chadli? Who was the star man at the Emirates?
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Stoke City vs Newcastle analysis: Window woes leave Alan Pardew bereft of flair
Manchester United risk Uefa row over plan to play lucrative midweek friendlies
Cristiano Ronaldo banner: This is how Real Madrid striker reacted to the stunt by Manchester United fans
- 1 Five-year-old Iris Grace is raising awareness of autism through her extraordinary paintings
- 3 The Simpsons death: Creator Al Jean would 'kill himself' before character like Homer or Lisa
- 4 British man raped while urinating in bushes at Oktoberfest beer festival in Germany
- 5 A teacher speaks out: 'I'm effectively being forced out of a career that I wanted to love'
Isis, we are told, is a 'clear and dangerous threat to our way of life'. I’m sorry, but I just don’t buy it
Exclusive: 'Putin's Russia has been my biggest regret,' says Nato's outgoing Secretary General
'Women, walk wherever you want' posters taken down in Stamford Hill following 'unacceptable' signs separating men and women
There’s no excuse for Dave Lee Travis’s behaviour, but we need to keep a sense of proportion
Mark Reckless becomes second Tory MP to defect to Ukip in a month
Should gay sex be illegal? 16% of Britons think so
£330 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: Our client based in Lond...
Negotiable: Randstad Education Reading: Maths Teacher required to teach Furthe...
£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Primary teachers requ...
£18000 per annum: Ashdown Group: An established and growing IT Consultancy fir...