Turkey beat Greece 3-1 in their opening Group B game of the UEFA European Under-17 Championship but coach Abdullah Ercan insisted it was not all plain sailing for his side. In the evening's other fixture in the section, it was England who prevailed against the Czech Republic, whose coach Jiří Štol saw nothing to change his view that his side's conquerors are the team to beat.
GREECE 1-3 TURKEY
Abdullah Ercan, Turkey coach
We made a good start to the game and the tournament.
We played very well in the first half; in the second half we needlessly sat back. It could have cost us dear, but in the end we deservedly won 3-1. I want to congratulate the Greek team as they were very tough in the second half. At first we tried to press Greece as they had two players suspended in defence. Everything was under control in the first half. We planned to control the midfield in the second half and went 2-0 up, but the penalty changed our game plan.
Leonidas Vokolos, Greece coach
I am happy for my players as they gave everything. We didn't have a very good first half, but Turkey were not that much better: they were lucky to go ahead from distance. After that, we tried hard and in the second half we pressed them a lot. We tried to press them in their own half but we let in the second goal and immediately responded with the penalty and had two or three chances to equalise. This is football, though, and in the last minute the penalty finished the game. But we tried hard and my players gave their all.
ENGLAND 3-1 CZECH REPUBLIC
John Peacock, England coach
I always knew the Czech Republic would be a tough game; they were very disciplined and very organised. We started well, but I don't think we helped ourselves when we conceded a poor goal from a set play which made it more difficult for us to claw ourselves back into the game. Thankfully we did and had a few words at half-time to try and raise the tempo of the game a little bit and start doing the things we're best at.
The first game is always the toughest in any tournament, but we can take a lot of pluses from that.
Jiří Štol, Czech Republic coach
Our team congratulates England. I said before the game that England were favourites and the game showed they are a very, very good team. We scored first, but England then played better and better.
We haven't come up against such good opponents in the last year. We had a very good performance and we are satisfied we played well. They are young players so now we know have to pick them up.
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