England held by hosts Portugal in Algarve Tournament

Sunday 15 Feb 2015
Sterling celebrates his debut goal
England U17s were denied victory over Portugal after Kaziah Sterling's first international goal was cancelled out in unusual circumstances.

A solid first half performance from the Young Lions saw them go in ahead at the break as they sought their first win in the Algarve Tournament.

And they had to show their resolve after the turn-around as the hosts pressed strongly for a leveller, which eventually came from Goncala Vieira. 

Portugal 1-1 England

The Algarve Tournament
Sunday 15 February 2015
Nora Stadium, Ferreiras, Portugal

The referee awarded an indirect free-kick to Portugal after Will Huffer was adjudged to have been holding onto the ball for too long. The Leeds United goalkeeper saved the first strike after a lay-off, but Vieira stabbed home the rebound to share the spoils. 

After a nightmare start in their opener with Holland, England began this contest in better fashion. They almost took the lead when Andre Green beat the full-back and cut the ball low across the box for the onrushing Sterling. Unfortunately the Tottenham forward’s sliding effort went wide.

Marcus Edwards, sat in the hole behind the front two as John Peacock's side lined-up with a midfield diamond, was showing all the trickery that was lacking against the Dutch, running at the defence and keeping possession well in the final third. 

He also played a part in the opener on 26 minutes, floating in a free-kick that was parried away by the keeper towards Green. The Aston Villa youngster rose highest to head back across goal for Sterling and he was first to the ball to bravely nod home past the lunging goalie.

Sterling heads England into the lead

Sterling heads England into the lead

Despite surviving a late Portuguese rally towards the end of the half that saw Huffer make a fine save to deny Toni Gomes and a strike hit the post, the Young Lions looked comfortable at the break.

Buoyed by a triple substitution at half-time, however, Portugal came out the strongest as England had to survive some heavy pressure. 

James Yates did well to block Gomes from having a certain tap-in at the back post before Generoso headed over from close-range as the hosts began to turn the screw. But when the equaliser arrived it came in strange fashion.

Having collected a stray pass, keeper Huffer was then penalised by the clock-watching referee. Having saved the first attempt following the lay-off, Vieria pounced on the rebound eight yards out after Huffer had saved.

Keeper Will Huffer denies Portugal

Will Huffer saved England at the death

Despite enjoying more of the ball, Portugal struggled to find a winner, but when their chance did arrive on the stroke of full-time, Huffer was on hand to save from Jose Gomes.

A good response from Peacock’s side after their opening defeat to Holland, and they face Germany next in their final game of the tournament on Tuesday.

Portugal (4-3-3): 12 Flipe Dinis; 3 Bruno Paz, 5 Ricardo Mangas, 13 Pedro Pereira, 15 Jorge Pereira, 17 Abdu Conte, 10 Moreto Cassama (c), 20 Bruno Lourenco ; 7 Generoso, 19 Toni Gomes, 9 Rui Pedro.

Subs: 4 Goncalo Vieria for Mangas 40; 6 Pedro Ferreira for Cassama 40; 16 Idrisa Sambu for Pedro 40; 18 Joao Mendes for Gomes; 8 Gedson Fernandes 67; 11 Jose Gomes for Generoso 67; 2 Joao Simoes for Lourenco 73; 14 Nuno Goncalves for Pereira 73. 

Subs not used: 1 Fabio Duarte.

Goals: Vieria 55.

Head coach: Filipe Ramos.

England (4-1-2-1-2): 1 William Huffer (Leeds United); 2 James Yates (Everton), 5 Cameron Humphreys (Manchester City), 6 Danny Collinge (c) (Stuttgart), 3 Tayo Edun (Fulham); 20 Will Patching (Man City); 14 Andre Green (Aston Villa), 17 Connor Ronan (Wolves); 10 Marcus Edwards (Tottenham); 9 Lukas Nmecha (Man City), 19 Kazaiah Sterling (Tottenham).

Subs: 16 Easah Suliman (Aston Villa) for Humphreys 40; 4 Foday Nabay (Fulham) for Ronan 40; 21 Callum Gribbin (Man United) for Green 62; 8 Daniel Wright (Sunderland) for Edwards 62; 22 Jahmal Hector Ingram (West Ham) for Nmecha 70; 11 Layton Ndukwu (Leicester) for Sterling 73.

Subs not used: 13 Aston Oxborough (Norwich), 7 Nathan Holland (Everton), 12 Kyron Stabana (Derby), 18 Hayden Coulson (Middlesbrough).

Goal: Sterling 26.

Head Coach: John Peacock.

By Gary Stonehouse Staff Writer at Nora Stadium, Ferreiras