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Last Updated:  Tuesday, 1 April, 2003, 20:52 GMT 21:52 UK
England U21s held by Turkey
England U21s 1-1 Turkey U21s

Jeffers scored his 13th goal in 13 games at this level
England's hopes of qualifying for the European Under-21 Championships receded after David Platt's side could only draw with Turkey at St James' Park.

Group Seven leaders Turkey took a 13th-minute lead with a well-worked goal scored by Tuncay Sanli, who caused England's defence all sorts of problems throughout the game.

Midway through the half Arsenal's Francis Jeffers maintained his excellent goal-scoring record at this level with a cleverly-taken goal, but thereafter England struggled to create many clear-cut chances.

The 1-1 draw leaves England in third place, two points behind Portugal, who beat Slovakia 2-0 in Bratislava earlier on Tuesday, and three behind Turkey.

England fell behind to a goal preceded by a flowing move, which saw Ibrahim Yavuz sweep the ball out to Okan Koc on the right wing, exploiting the space left by Paul Konchesky.

As far as the results go, two games and only one point, then it is bad
David Platt
England U21 coach
Koc crossed and Fenerbahce striker Tuncay stole in front of Everton centre-back Peter Clarke to prod the ball past Matt Murray.

England should have taken the lead in the eighth-minute when David Prutton released Joe Cole. The West Ham captain powered forward before finding Jeffers, but the England striker shot wide.

Jeffers made amends in the 25th minute, scoring his 13th goal to equal the under-21 record set by Alan Shearer.

Jermain Defoe's overhead flick down the left wing found skipper Gareth Barry, who played a superb crossfield ball into the path of Jeffers.

The 22-year-old bided his time before picking his spot from 15 yards as he wrong-footed Turkey's goalkeeper Demirel Volkan.

Cole's tendency to dwell on the ball in defensive areas provided some heart-stopping moments for England.

To match Alan Shearer is fantastic
Francis Jeffers
At one point he tried to flick the ball out of the penalty area, and in attempting to atone for his mistake he was dispossessed by Tuncay, who could only find the side-netting with his drive.

Cole suffered a frustrating game, frequently demonstrating flashes of sublime brilliance, only to be let down by his final pass.

Soon after the restart Tuncay had another chance for his brace. Kemal Aslan split England's defence only for Murray to race off his line and block the attempted angled flick at point-blank range.

England were getting away with errors at the back. Aston Villa's JLloyd Samuel was next to make a mistake just after the hour - allowing Kemal another shooting opportunity.

In the closing stages England redoubled their efforts to break the deadlock, but Jeffers missed his kick when he had a clear sight of goal.


England U21: Murray, Samuel, Clarke, Dawson, Konchesky, Jenas, Joe Cole, Prutton, Barry, Jeffers, Defoe.
Subs: Johnson, Bywater, Nolan, Stewart, Etherington, Carlton Cole, Crouch.

Turkey U21: Volkan, Baici, Yavuz, Cetin, Usta, Toraman, Arslan, Inceman, Kartal, Sanli, Koc.
Subs: Kursunlu, Hamit Altintop, Egedik, Kalogou, Kandil, Halil Altintop, Tunckip.

Referee: Julian Rodriguez Santiago (Spain).






WATCH AND LISTEN
BBC Sport's David Oates
"The Turks clearly possessed superior technique"


England U21 coach David Platt
"We created some excellent chances"


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