England face Turkey in the final group game of the U17 Euros.
England v Turkey
UEFA European U17 Championship
4.45pm (GMT), Tuesday 12 May 2009
England’s final group game of the UEFA European U17 Championship pitches them against Turkey on Tuesday afternoon, with the Young Lions hoping to maintain their interest in two separate competitions.
A comprehensive victory for England could see them qualify for the Semi-Final of the Euros, providing Germany, who have already booked their place in the last four, defeat Holland by the necessary score-line. A draw would be enough for John Peacock’s charges to seal their place in October’s FIFA U17 World Cup in Nigeria. However, should Turkey win, it will be Abdullah Ercan’s side booking their autumn flights to Africa.
England began their Euro campaign with a 1-1 draw against the Dutch in Gera. That one point could have easily been three as England dominated the second half, both territorially and in the number of chances created. They also had two appeals for a penalty dismissed by referee Georgios Daloukas. The hosts defeated Turkey 3-1 on the same day.
The second group game didn’t quite go the same way as Germany ran out comfortable 4-0 victors. Though England started brightly, they were unable to recover from Robert Labus’ opening goal on 13 minutes. As Holland also picked up all three points against Turkey, England must now rely on Germany to make it three wins out of three when they face the Dutch in Jena. But with so many permutations to consider, the message from the England Head Coach is simple – forget the maths, just win the match.
After supervising his side’s final training session at the home of FC Carl Zeiss Jena on Tuesday afternoon, John Peacock articulated his desire for a victory in England's final group game.
"The Germany defeat has been forgotten about," he insisted. "Now our focus is on beating Turkey and giving ourselves the best possible chance of competing in the Semi-Final.
"We’ve watched Turkey in their previous two matches and we know they’ll be a dangerous side, but they’ll also know about us," he continued.
"We can still qualify for the last four of this tournament, but if we don’t quite manage it, we’ve got to make sure the U17 World Cup is our next target. The World Cup would be a massive experience in the development of these players."
England go into their final Group B encounter without Manchester United midfielder, Ryan Tunnicliffe, who flew home on Monday with a knee injury sustained during the Germany defeat. Jose Baxter is suspended.