England 0-1 Turkey
UEFA European U17 Championship
4.45pm (GMT), Tuesday 12 May 2009
John Peacock expressed ‘massive disappointment’ that his England U17 side were not able to attain the one point against Turkey that would have booked the Young Lions a place at the FIFA U17 World Cup in October.
After drawing 1-1 with Holland and then losing 4-0 to Germany, England were beaten 1-0 in their final group match of the UEFA European U17 Championship, a result which consigned them to last place in the table. A draw would have secured third spot and subsequent involvement in Nigeria later this year. A 3-0 victory for Peacock’s side might also have confirmed their place in the Semi-Final of the Euros, but it was not to be.
England began the match brightly but were unable to fashion many clear cut chances. Turkey enjoyed more of the ball as the first half progressed, but only called the England ‘keeper, Sam Johnstone, into action on one occasion. With Turkey needing a victory to steal third place from England, they continued to press forward after the interval and were rewarded late in the game.
Furkan Seker struck in the 74th minute leaving England little time to mount a comeback, and so it transpired that it would be Abdullah Ercan’s side, and not Peacock’s, that would be participating in the World Cup later this year.
"We’re obviously massively disappointed," Peacock reflected.
"We knew it would be tough and that the longer the game went on that Turkey would push more players forward and try to get the win that they needed. We had to be resolute with our defending and I always felt one goal was going to decide this game one way or another, and unfortunately we just couldn’t hold out until the end.
"We stared brightly in the first 20 minutes and we defended quite well throughout the game. We had to get over that disappointing defeat against Germany, so it was important we got the players focused and I think we did that very well, but we’re hugely disappointed to have not qualified for the Semis of this tournament, or the World Cup."
Despite the unfavourable conclusion to the tournament, the U17 Head Coach can take some positives from Germany. His final matchday squad contained only 14 players, after injury and suspension rendered Ryan Tunnicliffe, Jack Wilshere, Jonjo Shelvey and Jose Baxter unavailable and he did field a number of players who were a year younger than most of their opponents.
So, what is John Peacock’s overall summary of England's European U17 Championship campaign?
"Well we’re disappointed, but there were positives to take from it. We had the youngest squad in the tournament and three U16 players started against Turkey, so they’ve had a great experience, as have another couple of the lads that are a year young.
"They’ll learn from this experience, as they all will. Qualification to the U17 World Cup was important to us because it would have added to the players’ experience. We always knew this group was going to be very tight, but unfortunately, we weren’t quite good enough collectively to make that final hurdle.
"This tournament has provided lots of experiences that the players can learn from; the good and the bad."
The U17s must now regroup as they prepare for The FA International Tournament at the beginning of next season, before qualification begins again for next year’s Euros.
1 Sam Johnstone, 2 James Hurst, 4 Gary Gardner, 5 Louis Laing, 8 John Bostock (C), 11 Benik Afobe, 12 Luke Freeman, 15 Eddie Oshodi, 16 Lateef Elford-Alliyu, 17 Jacob Walcott, 18 Sam Habergham
Substitutes 1 Jed Steer, 3 Luke Garbutt, 6 Tom Parkes
Head Coach John Peacock
1 Deniz Mehmet, 2 Okan Alkan, 3 Nurettin Kayaoglu, 4 Ogulcan Gokce, 5 Furkan Seker, 6 Ohran Gulle, 8 Deniz Herber, 9 Muhammet Demir (C), 10 Gokhan Tore, 14 Engin Bekdemir, 16 Omer Ali Sahiner
Subsitutes 7 Berkin Kamil Arslan, 11 Hasan Ahmet Sari, 12 Sercan Hacioglu, 13 Baris Yardimci, 15 Sezer Ozmen, 17 Onur Karakabak, 18 Kamil Ahmet Corekci
Head Coach Abdullah Ercan
Referee Gerhard Grobelnik (Austria)
Assistant Referees Haralds Gudermanis (Latvia) & Erik Weiss (Slovakia)
Fourth Official Tom Harald Hagen (Norway)