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Pressure on for England young guns

Our man at the Under-20 World Cup in Turkey, Pete Hall, talks to Peter Taylor, Harry Kane and John Stone after England's 1-1 draw with Chile.

Last Updated: 27/06/13 at 14:14 Post Comment

Peter Taylor: Was left feeling frustrated

Peter Taylor: Was left feeling frustrated

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Once again, all the post-match talk was of positivity, how England had come back from a goal down to earn a draw against a talented Chile side, and created enough chances to win the game.

It certainly was a spirited second-half performance, as Harry Kane's goal put England in a great position to snatch the win that would put them on the verge of the knock-out stages.

But the fact of the matter is it is now 17 games at this level the Three Lions have failed to emerge victorious, and 16 years of Under-20 hurt rolls on.

Despite the Chileans controlling much of the opening period it took a hotly-disputed penalty to separate the sides at the break, with Manchester United's Angelo Henriquez going down under challenge from Daniel Potts.

And the decision angered boss Peter Taylor afterwards, expressing his frustration that it seemed to be the assistant referee's call, despite the man in the middle being in a good position.

"From my point of view it certainly wasn't a penalty," he said. "I always believe assistant referees are in that role because they are not very good referees, and tonight confirmed that."

They say it changes when the sun goes down, and that's certainly what happened in the second half as shade covered the Akdeniz University stadium in Antalya.

England looked very jaded in the Southern Turkish sun, but as the temperature cooled the Three Lions found their rhythm.

Moments after James Ward-Prowse had almost levelled, Harry Kane made room for a shot and beat Dario Melo in the Chilean goal to equalise.

And it brought an end to what was turning into a frustrating tournament for the Tottenham youngster, who had toiled away in his lone striker's role to no avail until he netted from outside the box.

"I am starting to feel it, it is hard work out here, but we are all working our socks off," he said. "You always want to get off the mark in a tournament like this, and hopefully I can go on and get more to help the team."

Despite numerous promising openings, the best of which fell to substitute Alex Pritchard, who couldn't quite get on the end of Kane's cross, the score remained tied.

Despite frustration in front of goal, Taylor will be encouraged by how resolutely England defended despite having three new faces in the backline, one of which was Everton full-back John Stone, who was very pleased with his side's display.

"Even with all the defensive changes it wasn't difficult for us all to gel together, we have been working as a unit for weeks in training," he said.

"It is a big culture change over here, but slowly but surely we are getting used to it."

So another game, another draw, and as each game passes without a victory, another unwanted record continues.

We all knew Chile would represent a tough test with their passing and movement, Bryan Rabello orchestrating things in midfield and Nicolas Castillo causing problems up front, but it is true to say England dealt with their threat adequately. Simply coping won't win you games at this level.

Egypt were beaten by a sprightly Iraq side, leaving England sitting in third in the group, meaning anything but a win against Egypt will see the Three Lions follow in their U21 counterparts footsteps and crash out at the group stage, winless.

Confidence is low in the Egypt camp after their last-gasp defeat on Wednesday night, and it is safe to say that England have enough strength to overpower the North Africans and sail through to the last 16.

But we all know it won't be that simple where England are concerned, and expect a rollercoaster ride in Bursa on Saturday.

Follow Pete on Twitter at @pistolpeteh86 for all the latest news and goings-on at the U20 World Cup.

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