KEIR RADNEDGE in MANCHESTER: England ticked off another box on their road towards the Euro 2016 finals but a 2-1 win over Turkey at Manchester City was fortunately earned.
Harry Kane struck within the first three minutes but the initial promise soon faded and Turkey equalised with their first-ever goal against England from Hakan Calhanoglu 10 minutes later.
England switched to a diamond in the second half with Jamie Vardy stepping in from isolation on the left wing.
Kane blasted wide from a second-half penalty cleverly won by Vardy – not for the first time – before the Leicester man snatched victory after the Turks failed to clear an 81st-minute corner.
This was the first time in 18 months that the Turks had conceded two goals in a game. They might even have snatched a second equaliser but for a fine save from Joe Hart to an angled drive from Olcay Sahan.
Vardy will miss the next Euro 2016 warm-up, against Australia in Sunderland on Friday, because of his wedding on Wednesday. He had postponed his marriage last year after a late call-up by England so manager Roy Hodgson could hardly complain this time.
Focusing on the match, Hodgson said: “Wins are always pleasing and there were some positive aspects. For large swathes of the game we played reasonably well. We aren’t the finished article there’s still work to be done and when you play a team of Turkey’s quality – they had some good moments – it shows these next weeks are important to make sure we stay compact all the time.”
England play Australia at Sunderland next Friday without Vardy who is getting married in midweek.
Finally they face Portugal at Wembley before heading off to France where they will need far greater defensive resilience and cohesion if they are to accomplish any serious progress.
England: Hart – Walker, Cahill, Stones, Rose – Dier, Wilshere (Henderson 68) – Sterling (Drinkwater 73), Alli, Vardy – Kane. Manager: Hodgson.
Turkey: Babacan – Gokhan Gonul, Topal, Balta, Caner Erkin (Tekdemir 70) – Ozan Tufan (Erdinc 87) – Selcuk Inan, Sen (Yasin Oztekin 84), Ozyakup (Koybasi 70), Calhanoglu (Sahan 78) – Tosun. Coach: Fatih Terim.