First-ever goal against England inspires Turkey despite 2-1 loss
LONDONA persistent Turkish side bowed 2-1 to England on May 22, but took consolation in scoring its first ever goal against the Three Lions as both teams began their preparations for next month’s Euro 2016 finals.
England went ahead after just three minutes when midfielder Dele Alli’s quick pass found the feet of Tottenham Hotspur teammate Harry Kane.
Ten minutes later, Turkey equalized the matter through Bayer Leverkusen striker Hakan Çalhanoğlu after Fenerbahçe’s Volkan Şen got behind full back Danny Rose and, as goalkeeper Joe Hart came hurtling out, crossed for the visitors to net their first goal against England in 11 meetings.
Turkey showed spirit and retained possession in the first minutes of the second half, but appeared to lose command after striker Jamie Vardy was pushed down in the penalty area.
Although Kane shot the subsequent penalty wide, the opportunity helped England manager Roy Hodgson’s side regroup.
The closely fought match saw both countries dominate at different stages of the game but Vardy’s goal from close range in the 83rd minute sealed the victory for England.
Turkey substitute Olcay Şahan almost equalized at the death, but his volley drew a superb one-handed save from Hart.
“England is hard to play anywhere, but it’s especially hard in England,” Terim told Turkish media. “I am happy with the team. Players from the Turkish league fought neck-and-neck with players from the world’s most expensive league.”
England manager Roy Hodgson was also pleased by some parts of the performance.
“There were some positive aspects. For large swathes of the game we played reasonably well. But there is still work to be done,” he said.
“The next three weeks will be vital for us to make sure we make life easier for ourselves defensively,” said Hodgson, whose side face Russia, Slovakia and neighbor Wales in the group phase at the Euro.
England’s Arsenal midfielder Jack Wilshere, back in the side after an injury-disrupted season, said the team should “be able to hang on to wins in a tournament.”
“We did well today. I feel good, I’m 100 percent. I’ve been training for seven or eight weeks now. I’m looking to improve with every game,” he said.
Turkey has two more pre-tournament friendlies scheduled against Montenegro and Slovenia in the coming weeks, while England will face Australia and Portugal before the Euro 2016 tournament kicks off on June 10 in France.
Terim’s squad will challenge Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia in Group D.