England U17s lost their opening game of the FA International Tournament at Burton Albion’s Pirelli Stadium to an exciting Portugal side.
The one positive for John Peacock’s men was Patrick Roberts goal. The Fulham forward scored a goal of exceptional quality from a charging run, which concluded in a sweetly-struck left footed effort.
Isaiah Brown, on the scoresheet for Chelsea U21s at the weekend, thumped an effort against the post and looked bright throughout.
England always made it hard for themselves as they conceded an opener from Alexandre Silva after just three minutes.
Roberts grabbed the equaliser but Renato Sanches’ cross found Silva to put Portugal back into the lead.
A late third goal from Buta secured the win for the visitors.
England coach Peacock said: “I think it was an excellent game of football. We said at the beginning that we were going to play three very good teams this week. In my experience, and I’ve been doing it eleven years now, it’s probably one of the best Portuguese sides I’ve seen for a number of years. It was a real big test for us this evening.
“Obviously we didn’t get off to the brightest start. We didn’t quite get to grips with it for those first 15 minutes when we didn’t really have the ball, but after that I thought we grew into it really well.”
Next up for Peacock’s men is Turkey on Friday and the head coach insisted his side must put yesterday’s defeat behind them.
“The important bit is to ultimately try and win the games, get a bit of confidence back; see what the reaction is like from the 18 players tonight, hopefully get a result from the game against Turkey on Friday and then see what happens on Sunday.
“But for me it’s about a learning curve for the players, it’s a learning curve for me about the team. It’s knowing what we’re doing well, what we’re not doing well and how we can improve – and we’ll learn those lessons this week,” he said.
Goalscorer Patrick Roberts said: “I’m very happy with the goal, because I haven’t scored in quite a few games so it was nice to get a goal. I just try to play my best for the team, and if that works well for me then that’s great.
“We worked well together with some good link up play, we should really have got more but that’s the game. Two more games to go though.”