England recorded a narrow 2-1 victory in their first Euro 2016 warm-up match against Turkey at the Etihad Stadium.
Harry Kane opened the scoring in just the second minute for the Three Lions, although there was more than a hint of offside, before Hakan Calhanoglu levelled the scores just over ten minutes later.
However, Jamie Vardy netted the winner seven minutes from time as England got their Euro 2016 preparations off to a positive start.
With a number of Manchester United and Liverpool players absent because of their club cup final commitments, Leicester City striker Vardy started, and the starting XI included five Tottenham players – Kane, Dele Alli, Eric Dier, Kyle Walker and Danny Rose.
Meanwhile, Arsenal’s Jack Wilshere was also given a start by Roy Hodgson, as he looks to prove his fitness ahead of the naming of the final 23-man squad next week.
The hosts certainly made a bright start and nearly had the lead in the first 30 seconds, but Kane’s through ball to Vardy was just beyond the reach of the Foxes forward.
However, 90 seconds later they did have their early advantage as Raheem Sterling cut in from the right before feeding the ball to Alli, whose clever flick was finished well by Kane, although replays showed the Spurs striker was a yard offside.
The goal didn’t deter Turkey though, and they went close to equalising in the fourth minute when poor defending allowed Ozan Tufan space in the box to get a shot away, but Walker was on hand to brilliantly block the goal-bound effort.
Nine minutes later though, Fatih Terim’s side, who will compete alongside Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia at Euro 2016, did get the equaliser, and once again it was down to questionable defending from the Three Lions’ defence.
After failing to clear, the ball was hit inside Rose to Volkan Sen on the right-hand side of the area, and with Joe Hart deciding to come out and try and smother ball, the Fenerbahce winger cleverly lifted the ball over the Manchester City stopper, and Calhanoglu was left with an easy finish, and his nation’s first goal against England at the 11th attempt.
As Hodgson’s side sought to find another foothold in the game, Wilshere’s low shot from outside the box was easily saved by Volkan in the Turkish goal, before Eric Dier’s near post header from the Arsenal midfielder’s corner could only find the side netting.
With the scores level at the break, Turkey came out in the ascendency in the second half, and Cenk Tosun’s header went just wide from Calhanoglu’s brilliant corner, before the same player sent a low shot from the edge of the area wide of Hart’s left-hand post a minute later.
They had another great chance to take the lead ten minutes after, but Hakan Balta’s header went wide, before England gave themselves the chance to take the lead for the second time 20 minutes from time.
Vardy broke away down the left and was brought down in the area by Mehmet Topal, but Kane could only hit the outside of the post with his spot-kick.
However, seven minutes from time Hodgson’s men did find the winner as Volkan parried Gary Cahill’s header from Kane’s cross, and Vardy reacted quickest to fire home.
The Three Lions could have extended their advantage in stoppage time, but after Vardy found Kane in the box, the striker slipped as he shot just wide.
Hart still had to preserve the win for the hosts though, as he produced a brilliant one-handed save from Olcay Sahan’s volley.
Hodgson’s side now face Australia at Sunderland’s Stadium of Light on Friday night.
Man of the Match: Jamie Vardy – The Leicester striker was once again impressive, winning a penalty and scoring the winner, and looks to be in contention to start the Three Lions’ opening match against Russia at EURO 2016.