England restore pride but still defeated

England Under-20 0 Turkey Under-20 1
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The Independent Football

The England Under-20 side suffered their third defeat in the Toulon tournament, losing by a single goal to Turkey with Tayfun Cora scoring the winner.

However, it was a much improved performance from Les Reed's side, who were attempting to recover from their 8-0 thrashing at the hands of Argentina on Friday.

The result was even more creditable given that England had had to play the final 14 minutes with just 10 men when an injury to Sean Doherty forced him off after all three substitutes had been used.

Reed responded to the Argentina defeat by bringing in eight new faces. England's tactics of trying to stifle Turkey worked for long stretches with chances few and far between at both ends of the field.

The first real opening of the game fell to the Turks, when Mahir Saglik found himself unmarked from a corner, but volleyed over. England's first attack arrived in the 24th minute, when the captain Darren Carter wriggled free, but his shot was easily saved.

On the half-hour, however, England fell behind to a self-inflicted wound. Tayfun Cora seized on an error by Carter before slotting the ball past the Preston North End goalkeeper Andy's Lonergan. Turkey almost stretched their lead in first-half stoppage time when Saglik was left unmarked, but he headed over from six yards.

England created their best chance of the game early in the second half when Liverpool defender Jon Otsemobor headed a free-kick just wide of the target. Lonergan then kept England in the game when he saved a shot by substitute Metin Akan with his legs.

Reed said: "We bounced back from a drubbing, and it was pleasing, although we are disappointed to have lost. We dug deep and we gave it a go.

"We had one or two opportunities to score, and I thought we deserved something from the game, but we showed a bit of pride and character, and the players took responsibility for their own performances.

* In the other game in England's group Argentina lost 3-0 to Portugal, who are now joint leaders with a game in hand.