England U20s drew 1-1 with Turkey to claim the point they needed to win the Four Nations Tournament in Holland.
Following impressive victories against Germany and Holland, Aidy Boothroyd’s side knew they would win the competition if they avoided defeat against Turkey in Heerenveen.
“We’re delighted with the way the tournament has gone and to win it is really really pleasing,” said manager Aidy Boothroyd immediately after the game.
“For the players to get a few results like this and to win against such strong opposition – is a real feather in their cap.
England 1-1 Turkey
Four Nation Tournament
Monday 13 October
“It’s a really big achievement to come away from home and get results against the host nation and against a very strong German side – and to get a draw against a much older Turkish team is a fantastic achievement as well.
“In the end it’s all worked out really well and we’re all very happy.”
The Young Lions looked to be on their way to three wins from three when Kortney Hause put them ahead on 21 minutes.
Liverpool’s Lloyd Jones met captain Matt Targett’s left-sided free-kick and headed the ball back across goal into the path of Hause – who controlled on his chest and fired home with his left foot in one exquisite movement.
And England dominated the remainder of the first half and given the quality of their play, will feel they should have gone into the break with a greater lead.
However, Turkey came out for the second half all reinvigorated and were level within five minutes of the restart.
Moments later, Chuba Akpom – hero from matchday two – saw his fine run of form came to an abrupt halt as he was shown a second yellow for a late tackle.
He will feel hard done by, however, as he appeared to lose his footing and his momentum carried him in to the Turkish defender.
A strong tackle moments later resulted in another red, this time for Turkey, and the two side played out the remainder of the game with ten men each.
England held out and secured the point they needed, and Boothroyd said it was no more than his Young Lions deserved.
“It’s really important that they learn to keep calm in chaos, keep control of their emotions - and we did that tonight.”
"We played probably the best football of the tournament in the first half,” he added.
“We were excellent. We were creating lots of chances, making really good decisions and we really dominated the game and we could have had two or three.
“In the second half it was a little bit different. They came out at us and we didn’t start particularly well. They equalised and we got a bit complacent.
“We managed to hang on in there in the end.
"It was quite an open game – they were trying to win and we obviously wanted to hold on to what we had and look to try and get counter-attacks.”
Despite tempers fraying and the game threatening to boil over at times, Boothroyd ended by saying it will all prove to be valuable experience for his Young Lions.
“It got a little feisty but these games are really good for our players as well because they’re going to have to be able to deal with that at senior level,” he continued.
“It’s really important that they learn to keep calm in chaos, keep control of their emotions and still do all the right things – and we did that tonight.”
England (4-3-3): 1 Christian Walton (Brighton & Hove Albion); 14 Lloyd Jones (Liverpool), 5 Dominic Ball (Tottenham Hotspur), 6 Kortney Hause (Wolverhampton Wanderers, on loan at Gillingham), 3 Matt Targett (C) (Southampton); 4 Harrison Reed (Southampton), 18 Jordan Houghton (Chelsea), 11 Paul Digby (Barnsley); 8 Kwame Thomas (Derby County), 9 Chuba Akpom (Arsenal), 10 Callum Robinson (Aston Villa, on loan at Preston).
Substitutes: 2 Isaac Hayden (Arsenal) for Ball 68; 16 Joe Rothwell (Manchester United) for Reed 75; 20 John Swift (Chelsea, on loan at Rotherham) for Houghton 84.
Substitutes not used: 12 Fankaty Dabo (Chelsea), 13 Joe Wildsmith (Sheffield Wednesday), 15 Ben Pearson (Manchester United), 17 Jacob Murphy (Norwich City), 19 Chris Long (Everton).
Goals: Hause 21.
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd.
Watch highlights as England U20s end the Four Nations Tournament with a draw