Despite a narrow defeat, John Peacock felt there were good things to take out of Wednesday's game.
England 1-2 Portugal
The FA International U17 Tournament
7pm, Wednesday 27 August 2008
Nene Park, Rushden & Diamonds FC,
Click here for tournament details
Whilst England U17s suffered a narrow defeat in their opening game of The FA International U17 Tournament on Wednesday night, Head Coach John Peacock could take plenty of positives out of the game.
The Young Lions were undone by two goals either side of half time, with Portugal benefiting from a huge slice of luck for their equaliser in first half injury time and then scoring the winner just minutes after the restart.
Peacock’s team started and finished the game much the brighter and were denied by the post on two occasions as well as creating the better opportunities than the visitors, which pleased the Head Coach and his staff.
“I think we were unlucky and I’ve got more positives to come out of the day than negatives,” revealed Peacock.
“Obviously conceding two goals is a negative so we need to work on that and defend a little bit better in those instances.
“We had a mad five minutes just before half time and straight after half time, but in terms of us starting the game, I thought we were excellent.
“In the first 25 minutes they were finding it difficult to live with us, we really passed the ball around with a lot of authority, moved the ball very neatly and I thought it was all going to plan but unfortunately goals change games.
“It was just that killer instinct at the top end and whilst we hit the post twice, it just didn’t go in but that’s football.”
Portugal’s first goal came when striker Filipe Barros’ cross from the right took a deflection and miraculously looped over goalkeeper Ryan Allsop and into the net just seconds before the half time whistle, but Peacock felt his team still could have recovered from that to get a result.
“Their first goal was fortunate, but you have to accept that and I still thought at half time when it was 1-1 if we kept playing as we did in the first 25 minutes, we wouldn’t have any problems,” he added.
“But unfortunately, two or three minutes into the second half we got caught and it puts us on the back foot.
“Obviously the lads are very disappointed but there are a lot more positives to take from the game and we just have to move on.
“Technically and physically, I thought we were in better shape and in terms of our rotation and moving the ball, we were better than them but we’ve lost the game 2-1 and it’s harsh.
"It’s a lesson for the players about managing the game and staying in the game when you’re winning 1-0.”
England are next in action on Friday evening, when they face Israel at Peterborough United’s London Road.