International friendly: England Under-21s claim 3-1 win over Portugal
Last Updated: 14/11/14 12:12am
Burnley's Danny Ings enjoyed some home comforts at Turf Moor as he scored twice to give England Under-21s a 3-1 friendly victory over Portugal.
Ings' name garnered the biggest cheer from the east Lancashire crowd when the two line-ups were read out prior to kick-off and it took him just six minutes to open the scoring with a neat near-post finish.
Right-back Carl Jenkinson drilled in a second before half-time and although Bernardo Silva reduced the deficit early in the second period, Ings' second of the night ensured Gareth Southgate's men recorded a comfortable win.
Ings' double also helped the Young Lions deliver a psychological blow to the Portuguese ahead of next summer's European Under-21 Championship finals in the Czech Republic, with the two nations due to meet again in that tournament's group stage.
With Saido Berahino part of Roy Hodgson's senior set-up and the in-form Harry Kane only among the substitutes, Ings appeared desperate to grasp his chance from the off.
He began by gliding past three players before laying the ball out to Jenkinson, whose low cross was cut out inside the six-yard box with three white shirts, including Ings, lurking.
Ings' next notable act was to sweep the ball home for a sixth-minute opener.
The move was started and finished by Burnley players, with Michael Keane's long ball controlled by Nathan Redmond on the left flank. He drifted inside and fed Tom Ince on the opposite wing with a ball which the visiting defence failed to cut out, and the Nottingham Forest loanee's cross was touched into the net by Ings.
He had chances to add another goal swiftly afterwards, heading a corner over from six yards and then hooking Ince's ball over the top into the stand.
Portugal settled thereafter with the tricky Ricardo Pereira finding his groove. The Porto winger was heavily involved when an off-balance Silva delivered a tame shot at Jack Butland and when Bruno Fernandes cracked an effort wide.
At the other end Will Hughes' runs behind the backline were causing problems and although he had one goal chalked off for offside, he eventually timed it right to help double England's advantage.
Redmond spotted his dart and the Derby midfielder's cross missed Ings but found the onrushing Jenkinson, who drilled in a low finish one minute before the interval.
That advantage was halved three minutes into the second period, though, as Luke Garbutt's weak header gave Portugal the ball back just outside England's penalty box. From there, Silva was fed by Bruma and the midfielder slotted a cool shot between Butland's legs.
Rui Jorge's team continued to try and exploit left-back Garbutt and the Everton youngster was fortunate Fernandes' try crashed into the side netting shortly afterwards.
Nathaniel Chalobah's arrival from the bench meant there were three Clarets players on the pitch and he soon helped restore the Young Lions' two-goal lead around the hour mark.
The on-loan Chelsea midfielder found the lively Redmond and his squared cross was bundled home by Ings from just a few yards out.
However, Portugal continued to carry a threat and Butland was required to deny Ruben Pinto in a one-on-one situation.
There was to be no hat-trick for Ings as Southgate withdrew him 11 minutes from time, but his third and fourth goals at this level on his sixth appearance proved to be the difference.