Lions claim third group win
Monday, 24 May, 2010
England come from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in Vaduz.
UEFA European U17 Championship
By Glenn Lavery in Liechtenstein
England head in to Thursday’s UEFA European U17 Championship semi-final against France with three wins from their three Group B matches after they came from behind to beat Turkey 2-1 in Vaduz, Liechtenstein.
It was a far from vintage performance from John Peacock’s charges and they could have found themselves at least three goals behind at half-time but three good saves from Jack Butland and a wonderfully executed equaliser from Saido Berahino meant the sides went in level at the break and Rob Hall’s second-half penalty secured the victory, allowing England to top the group. Turkey, though, also qualified for the last four as Czech Republic could only manage a 0-0 draw with Greece in the other group game.
The Turks took a deserved lead just after the half-hour mark when Okan Derıcı got his head to a mis-hit shot by Servan Taştan and directed the ball beyond the advancing Butland.
England equalised just four minutes later and it was a well worked individual goal from Berahino. On the Turkish penalty spot, he collected Luke Williams’ pass from the right and jinked around four defenders before poking the ball past Muhammed Uysal at his near post.
Shortly after the hour mark Benik Afobe was brought down inside the box by Uysal and Hall gave England all three points, stroking home the subsequent penalty just beyond the ‘keeper’s dive.
Before flying out to Liechtenstein Peacock told his players that it would take all 18 squad members to win this European Championship and, true to his word, he made seven changes from the side that defeated Greece 1-0 on Friday, in doing so, handing six players a maiden tournament start.
One of those was goalkeeper Butland and he was called into action as early as the fourth minute when Çağrı Tekin played his captain into the area but Artun Akçakin’s shot did not trouble the Birmingham stopper at his near post and Butland held comfortably.
A point would have seen both nations make it through to the last four but before the game Turkey said they would go all out for the win in order to top the group and they set their stall out early, testing Butland as often as they could. After Conor Coady received a ninth-minute booking for a block on Derıcı, Yokuşlu had another try from distance and this time it was a bit better but Butland got down quickly to save well.
In the 22nd minute he was again on hand to deny Akçakin once more, sticking out a strong wrist to prevent Turkey from taking the lead. However, his best save of the match came six minutes later when Akçakin collected Çalış’s corner at the far post. The crowd thought his shot was in but Butland got his body in the way of the ball and then reacted quickly to stop it from crossing the line.
Afobe had the first two of his three penalty appeals dismissed by referee Antti Munukka after he appeared to be bundled over inside the box on both occasions. A far-post header by Tom Thorpe, from Williams’ free-kick, was the closest England came early on, although the assistant referee’s flag was already raised for an offside.
After making all the play in the opening half-an-hour, Turkey eventually took the lead in the 31st minute. Taşkın Çalış played a corner to the edge of the area which Taştan drove into the ground. It bounced high towards the goal and Derıcı just got to the ball ahead of Butland and he nodded the ball into the back of the net, past Bruno Pilatos who was on the line.
However, despite being largely outplayed by Abdullah Ercan’s side England went in at the break all square and their equaliser came courtesy of some sublime close control from Berahino. He received Williams’ pass inside the area and his tidy feet allowed him to evade the challenges of Oğuzhan Azğar, Metin Aydin, Onur Yavuz and Tekin, before prodding the ball past Uysal at his near post.
Turkey had by far the better of the first 40 minutes but England began the second half in more confident mood and might have taken the lead through Afobe. The Arsenal man raced on to a fine through ball from Coady and he turned Aydin all too easily but Uysal produced a great stop to keep the scores level.
England saw more of the ball after the interval and enjoyed a consistent spell of possession for the first time in the match.
Despite the good football on display it was a penalty which gave England the lead, and ultimately the win, in the 62nd minute. After Afobe had been felled by Uysal, Hall took the resulting spot-kick and dispatched it confidently, putting it into the ‘keepers’ bottom left-hand corner.
Luke Garbutt came off the bench in the game’s closing stages and his first contribution almost brought about England’s third goal, but Afobe couldn’t quite arch his neck enough to direct his header on target. Garbutt and Afobe linked up again in added time but some dogged defending denied the Evertonian a late goal.
For the second game in succession it was fair to say that England never really produced their best, despite the improved second-half performance, but there is something to be admired from winning without playing well and with three wins from their three Group B matches, their semi-final opponents France will duly sit up and take note.
1 Muhammed Uysal, 2 Erhan Kartal, 3 Onur Yavuz, 4 Metin Aydin, 5 Oğuzhan Azğar, 6 Servan Taştan, 7 Taşkın Çalış, 9 Artun Akçakin (C) (8 İlker Sayan, 69), 10 Çağrı Tekin (17 Recep Nıyaz, 74), 11 Okan Derıcı (13 Rıdvan Armut, 78), 14 Okay Yokuşlu
Substitutes not used 12 Aykut Özer, 15 Bilal Gülden, 16 Beykan Şimşek, 18 Kani Özdıl
Goals Okan Derıcı (31)
Head Coach Abdullah Ercan
13 Jack Butland, 2 Bruno Pilatos, 4 Conor Coady (C), 6 Andre Wisdom, 8 George Thorne, 9 Benik Afobe, 10 Saido Berahino (3 Luke Garbutt, 72), 11 Rob Hall, 12 Ben Gibson, 14 Tom Thorpe, 18 Luke Williams (16 Ross Barkley, 66)
Substitutes not used 1 Sam Johnstone, 5 Nathaniel Chalobah, 7 Will Keane, 15 Josh McEachran, 17 Connor Wickham
Goals Saido Berahino (35), Rob Hall (pen) (62)
Head Coach John Peacock
Referee Antti Munakka (FIN)
Assistant Referees Nikola Razic (MNE) and Sven Erik Midthjell (NOR)
Fourth Official Stephan Klossner (SUI)