Tammy Abraham’s goal at the death secured victory as England began their 2018 Maurice Revello Toulon Tournament campaign with victory over China in Aubagne.
Dael Fry opened his Under-21s account to draw the holders level after Yan Dinghao’s first-half header had given China the lead.
A minute’s silence to pay respect to former England internationals Ray Wilkins, Ray Wilson and Jlloyd Samuel was held before kick-off, the Young Lions also wore black armbands.
- Toulon Tournament
- Saturday 26 May
- Stade de Lattre, Aubagne
Just three minutes into the contest, England thought they’d taken the lead, Kieran Dowell tapped home at the far post only to be adjudged as offside.
Another chance came their way soon after, Everton’s Tom Davies showing great strength to power past China’s centre backs but unable to keep his attempt down.
At the other end, China’s Yan Dinghao let fly with a free-kick in a dangerous position which was over the crossbar.
Danger man Dinghao was almost in again but goalkeeper Freddie Woodman was alert to gather.
And it was the FC Copenhagen man who put his side ahead with a looping header from a right wing cross.
As England looked for a quick response, Dowell had a second attempt, steering the ball over the line, chalked off for offside.
A smart save from Woodman kept the scores at one as Wen Jiabao latched onto a through ball and shot at goal.
Boothroyd’s side began the second half on the front foot.
Abraham showed great determination to win back possession after a misplaced pass, he then played in Davies who could not quite convert.
They were not to be denied for long, though - Middlesbrough’s Fry converting following Abraham’s smart knockdown from a well-taken corner to level proceedings.
In the middle of the park, Cook and Davies, who both accumulated regular Premier League playing time at Bournemouth and Everton respectively in 2017-18, began to pull the strings as England searched for a winner.
China were reduced to 10 men late on as skipper Sun Weizhe was shown a straight red card for a late challenged on substitute Hamza Choudhury, with the Leicester man set to break.
And England took full advantage, Abraham netting from close range, meeting Armstrong’s clever ball in.
The Young Lions are back in action on Tuesday when Mexico are the opponents in Salon.
England: 1 Freddie Woodman (Newcastle United), 2 Jonjoe Kenny (Everton), 4 Lewis Cook (capt; AFC Bournemouth), 5 Dael Fry (Middlesbrough), 6 Fikayo Tomori (Chelsea), 7 Kieran Dowell (Everton), 8 Tom Davies (Everton), 9 Tammy Abraham (Chelsea), 11 Adam Armstong (Newcastle United), 12 Jake Clarke-Salter (Chelsea), 14 Jay Da Silva (Chelsea).
Substitutes: 3 Kyle Walker-Peters (Tottenham Hotspur) for Tomori 45, 18 Tom Pearce (Leeds United) for Walker-Peters 67, 16 Hamza Choudhury (Leicester City) for Da Silva 73.
Substitutes not used: 13 Aaron Ramsdale (AFC Bournemouth), 10 Ronaldo Vieria (Leeds United), 15 Ezri Konsa (Charlton Athletic), 17 Callum Connolly (Everton), 19 Edward Nketiah (Arsenal), 20 Lukas Nmecha (Manchester City).
Goals: Fry 52, Abraham 89.
Head coach: Aidy Boothroyd