Kane, Vardy score again to earn England 2-1 win over Turkey
ABS-CBN Sports on May 23, 2016 09:54 AM
England's Jamie Vardy, top, scores past Turkey's goalkeeper Volkan Babakan during their international friendly soccer match at the City of Manchester Stadium, Manchester, England, Sunday May 22, 2016. (AP Photo/Jon Super)
STEVE DOUGLAS, AP Sports Writer
MANCHESTER, England (AP) — Harry Kane and Jamie Vardy transferred their scoring form in the Premier League to the international stage Sunday, netting England's goals in an unconvincing 2-1 victory over Turkey in the teams' first warmup match ahead of the European Championship.
Vardy capitalized on successive mistakes from Turkey goalkeeper Volkan Babacan to sweep home a close-range winner in the 83rd minute, handing the Turks their first loss in 14 matches stretching back to November 2014.
Kane put England ahead in the third minute and missed a 72nd-minute penalty that would have restored England's lead after Hakan Calhanoglu's 13th-minute equalizer — Turkey's first-ever goal against England in 11 games.
Vardy and Kane were paired up front by England coach Roy Hodgson after scoring 49 goals between them in the Premier League for Leicester and Tottenham, respectively, this season. With captain Wayne Rooney and Daniel Sturridge also fighting for attacking berths in the team at Euro 2016 in France, it has given Hodgson some thinking to do.
Sturridge and Rooney were not available for the game owing to club commitments this week but are likely to feature against Australia on Friday, when Vardy will be absent because he is getting married on Wednesday.
"We will see how the competition hots up when Rooney, Sturridge and (Marcus) Rashford join us," Hodgson said.
The performance of some of his squad hopefuls will also have got Hodgson thinking.
The coach has to cut three members of his provisional 26-man squad for the final group of 23, and Jack Wilshere — a Hodgson favorite — failed to make a convincing case for selection in his 66 minutes on the field. The Arsenal midfielder is coming back from a long injury layoff and is struggling for rhythm and match sharpness.
Winger Raheem Sterling, coming off a disappointing end to the season with Manchester City, also struggled to impress on his home ground as England played the first of two games away from its usual home of Wembley Stadium. Hodgson will finalize his squad for Euro 2016 after the Australia game in Sunderland.
Turkey was on top for spells in the second half and could be a surprise at the Euros, where it is in Group D with Spain, Czech Republic and Croatia. Cenk Tosun twice came close when the score was 1-1 and substitute Olcay Sahan was denied an injury-time equalizer by England goalkeeper Joe Hart.
Turkey will also rue the concession of Vardy's goal. Gary Cahill's header from a corner was parried away weakly by Babacan, who made that error worse by falling onto the heels of Ismail Koybasi, a defender stationed on the post. That gave Vardy time to pounce and the striker's shot from two meters hit the face of Babacan and careered into the net.
Vardy also won the penalty that Kane squandered, when he dispossessed Mehmet Topal and bore down on goal before being brought down by Topal. Kane's penalty clipped the outside of the post and the Tottenham striker held his head in his hands.
Vardy started the game on the left wing but was more dangerous in the second half when he partnered Kane up front in an attacking pair.
"I don't believe when you ask (a striker) to play as a forward on the left or right side, it's anything that should cause them any problems," Hodgson said.
Kane's goal was his 32nd for club or country this season, and he appears one of the few guaranteed starters against Russia in Marseille on July 11 in England's first game at the Euros.