Ellery Balcombe and England survived a major scare as they got their Under 19 European Championship title defence underway with a 3-2 win over Turkey on Tuesday.
The Young Lions found themselves behind inside two minutes as Güven Yalçın guided a looping header over Ellery from 12 yards. Tottenham defender Japhet Tanganga turned home a leveller midway through the half and Paul Simpson’s side went into the break ahead thanks to Ben Brereton’s goal in first-half injury-time.
A sublime long-range effort from Elliot Embleton, ten minutes after the break, looked to have given England some breathing space but Turkey hit back again; Metehan Güçlü punishing Tanganga for some sloppy play at the back to make it 3-2 with 30 minutes to play. The Turks couldn’t find an equaliser and finished the game with ten men as goalscorer Güçlü was shown a second yellow card in injury-time.
Ellery will look to earn his seventh Under-19 cap on Friday as the Young Lions take on Ukraine, who beat France 2-1 on Tuesday, in Seinajoki.