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Turkey duo out to clip England's wings

Beaten by the Netherlands in a pulsating Group A opener, Turkey and Bursaspor team-mate Enes Ünal and Ertuğrul Ersoy are determined to bounce back.

Ertuğrul Ersoy with Turkey and Bursaspor team-mate Enes Ünal
Ertuğrul Ersoy with Turkey and Bursaspor team-mate Enes Ünal ©Domenic Aquilina

The youngest scorer in Turkish Super League history, netting as a substitute on his league debut against Galatasaray AŞ at the age of 16 years and three months, striker Enes Ünal was on target again in Turkey's UEFA European Under-17 Championship opener on Friday. That goal, though, could not prevent the Netherlands emerging as 3-2 victors in in a topsy-turvy Group A encounter.

"We started very well and created a lot of chances in the first half," Ünal, scorer of six goals in six qualifying matches, told UEFA.com. "But in the second half, even after we took the lead, we didn't do well at critical moments. If we want to win our remaining games, we need to show more composure.

"That moment [against Galatasaray in August] was unforgettable – one of the greatest days of my life. But that's in the past now and the most important thing for me is to focus on this competition."

The Bursaspor starlet – who celebrated his 17th birthday on Saturday – did just that on Friday, breaking the deadlock with a typically predatory finish. However, three subsequent strikes from the Jong Oranje turned the tide definitively at the Ta' Qali National Stadium, and Fatih Aktay's late header was a mere consolation for Hakan Tecimer's charges. Next up, England at Gozo Stadium on Monday.

"We're not afraid of England and we know that if we want to make it through to the semi-finals we have to beat them," said centre-back Ertuğrul Ersoy, Ünal's club-mate and good friend. "We've played England two or three times in the past couple of years and every match was very competitive, but also very enjoyable. We've beaten them before and we've got plenty of confidence."

The final word went to the players' coach, Tecimer: "Enes and Ertuğrul have been in this squad for around two years now and are getting better all the time. Both of them are always looking for ways to improve and that's very important, both now and for their futures."