Vardy grabs winner for England against Turkey as Kane scores and misses penalty
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | May 22, 2016
England 2-1 Turkey
- Kane finished from Alli pass in second min, but replays showed he was offside
- Calhanoglu equalised to become first ever Turkey player to score against England
- Kane missed second-half penalty after Vardy was brought down in the box
- Vardy latched onto poorly-cleared save by Babacan to poach winner
Kane and Vardy on target in friendly win
Early goals from Harry Kane and Hakan Calhanoglu were cancelled out by Jamie Vardy’s late poached winner as England beat Turkey in their feisty first pre-Euro 2016 international friendly, though the hosts were certainly tested and missed a penalty.
In 10 previous meetings between the two, Turkey had remarkably never beaten or even scored against England, but at least found the net on this occasion.
Roy Hodgson fielded a strong, attacking line-up for the clash at Manchester City’s Etihad stadium, but were of course without the Man Utd stars following their FA Cup victory on Saturday.
— Coral (@Coral) May 22, 2016
With Kane and Vardy, who scored 49 in the 2015/16 Premier League between them, up front, there was plenty to be excited about. And, after just 37 seconds the duo combined with the former playing the latter through on goal, but the Leicester City frontman couldn’t quite reach the ball.
Kane quick off the mark to put England ahead
It didn’t take long until the ball was in the back of the net, though, as just after the two minute mark the Tottenham ace latched onto clubmate Dele Alli’s pass to finish, albeit in an offside position.
In a lively start to the game at the Etihad, Ozan Tufan almost gave Turkey an immediate reply, but his effort was well blocked by another Spurs player Kyle Walker.
Kane and Alli combined again in the 12th minute, this time the former shooting wide from a free-kick after the latter was fouled on the corner of the box.
Three Lions caught sleeping at the back
England were then caught out at the back at the other end, however, as Volkan Sen hurdled keeper Joe Hart to pick out Calhanoglu in the middle of the area to make history and slot home into an empty net, becoming the first Turkish player ever to score against the Three Lions.
Jack Wilshere, determined to prove his fitness ahead of Hodgson’s decision to pick a final 23-man squad, looked lively early on, and forced Turkey goalie Volkan Babacan into a save low to his left.
Just before the half-hour mark, Eric Dier threatened to head home from a corner, in a similar vein to his dramatic winner in a friendly against Germany back in March, but was just wide.
England continued to attack, but Turkey had chances
Just like the first half, England were quick to have a chance after the break, this time through Alli, whose deflected effort almost sent Babacan the wrong way.
The hosts kept attacking, but Cenk Tosun twice came close to putting the visitors ahead in quick succession. Firstly, in the 53rd minute when his header from a corner hit the side of the net, and then moments later after turning John Stones to put a shot just wide.
Turkey threatened England once again from a set piece just after an hour played, this time Hakan Kadir Balta’s nodded effort going just past Hart’s post.
Kane misses from spot but Vardy grabs winner
Vardy didn’t have much space on the evening, but all of a sudden found himself through on goal, much like with Leicester. Mehmet Topal couldn’t catch up with him and brought him down in the box to force a penalty.
Kane stepped up, but could only hit the outside of the keeper’s right-hand post and behind for a goal-kick.
Thankfully for the Three Lions, Vardy was alert until the end, and finished off a poorly-cleared save by Babacan from Gary Cahill’s header in the 83rd minute.
Kane and Vardy combined in injury-time too, as the latter played in the former this time, but the Spurs striker was unable to find the target. At the other end, meanwhile, Hart had to be at his best to save well from Olcay Sahan to ensure the hosts kept onto their lead.
It was a tough test for Hodgson’s men, but a match they’ll be happy to get through and, with the likes of captain Wayne Rooney, Chris Smalling and Marcus Rashford set to join up with the squad, they can certainly be proud of their spirited display.
England now face two more friendlies against Australia (May 27th) and then Portugal (June 2nd) before their Euro 2016 Group B opener with Russia on June 11th.
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