A second half comeback from Georgia saw England lose their half time lead in Tbilisi on Wednesday.
Georgia 7-3 England
Wednesday 28 November 2007
Tbilisi Sportspalace, Georgia
England's hopes of a win in their second game at the Sportpalace Arena in Georgia were shattered in a mad five minutes of the second half, when the young Lions conceded five goals in as many minutes.
After a solid first half performance in which well worked moves resulted in two finely taken strikes from Luke Ballinger (pictured below), England went in at the break in dominant form and leading 2-1.
However, with the second half starting brightly with much more of the same, England looked in control but failed to take further advantage.
Firstly, capitulation in possession allowed Georgia to counter attack and draw level to knock the wind out of England's sails.
Graeme Dell’s young team struggled to eradicate their disappointment as England lost their defensive shape whilst chasing the elusive victory and their hosts capitalised on their re-found impetus to stretch their lead almost instantaneously to 6-2.
From there, England struggled to get back into the game and despite a late reply from Ballinger for his third in the final minute, it was too late for any comeback.
Georgia then added another to their tally, to make it 7-3, a scoreline which harshly reflected the cruelty of this game and left England bewildered as to how they could have dominated play for so long, yet lost by such a margin.
“We applied ourselves magnificently in the first half and the players had learned a great deal from yesterday, but at that point only half the job was done,” admitted Dell after the game.
“This game is cruel and scorelines rarely reflect the balance of play and whilst I can hunt for excuses, it's not the way I work.
“The reality is that on the night, we simply weren't experienced enough to hold our lead and the players are bitterly disappointed, but they must bounce back and be richer for the lesson that our hosts gave us in the second half.”
England will now be preparing to play two games against Greece in Birmingham in December.