England U20s lost their first match of a double-header with France 4-3 after a harum-scarum encounter in Brittany.
Keith Downing's Young Lions took an early lead through Swansea City midfielder and captain Matt Grimes, and they held on to their advantage until the 52nd minute when Adam Ounas levelled.
France 4-3 England
U20s International Match
Stade Fred Aubert a Saint-Brieuc
Wednesday 11 November 2015
The hosts then scored two unanswered goals, through Lys Mousset and Sehrou Guirassy, to make it 3-1.
Downing rang the changes, and two of his substitutions came up trumps, with Chelsea's Charlie Colkett netting a debut goal and then Ashley Fletcher of Manchester United bringing the scores level with five minutes remaining.
But Alexis Blin delivered an 89th-minute winner in a frustrating conclusion for the Young Lions.
England play the second leg of their double header in Brittany at 1.30pm on Saturday, at Henri Guerin technical centre in Ploufragan.
France (4-4-2): Escales; Fulgini Gbamin, Diakhaby, Hernandez; Mousset, Ntcham, Kilic, Slidja; Kemen (captain), Dembele.
Substitutions: Ounas for Slidja 28, Guirassy for Dembele 63, Bamba for Mousset 63, Confais for Fulgini 67, Niakhate for Hernandez 80, Blin for Kemen.
Goals: Ounas 52, Mousset 62, Guirassy 70, Blin 89.
Head coach: Patrick Gonfalone.
England (4-3-3): 1 Ted Smith (Southend United); 2 Ashley Smith-Brown (Manchester City), 5 Mason Holgate (Everton), 6 Baily Cargill (AFC Bournemouth); 10 Reece Brown (Birmingham City), 4 Harry Winks (Tottenham Hotspur), 8 Matt Grimes (Swansea City; captain); 7 Tyler Walker (Nottingham Forest), 9 Sam Gallagher (MK Dons, on loan from Southampton), 11 Ryan Kent (Coventry City, on loan from Liverpool).
Substitutions: 16 Alex Gilliead (Carlisle United, on loan from Newcastle United) for Walker 67, 17 Brandon Barker (Rotherham United, on loan from Manchester City) for Kent 67, 12 Charlie Colkett (Chelsea) on for R Brown 75, 18 Ashley Fletcher (Manchester United) on for Gallagher 75, 14 Bryn Morris (York City, on loan from Middlesbrough) for Grimes 81.
Substitutes not used: 13 Russell Griffiths (Halifax, on loan from Everton) 15 Reece Burke (West Ham United).
Goals: Grimes 3, Colkett 78, Fletcher 85.