Match ends, England U21 0, Portugal U21 1.
England U21 0-1 Portugal U21
|Euro U21 Championship|
|Location: Czech Republic. Date: 18-30 June. Coverage: Live text commentary on BBC Sport website, plus live commentary on BBC Radio 5 live, of all England matches|
England failed to score for the first time in 18 matches as they lost their opening European Under-21 Championship tie against Group B rivals Portugal.
Portugal took the lead when Sporting Lisbon midfielder Joao Mario tucked in from close range after Bernardo Silva's low shot rebounded off the post.
England's best chances came before half-time, Harry Kane and Jesse Lingard going close with long-range shots.
Earlier, group rivals Sweden came from behind to win 2-1 against Italy.
Two-time champions England, who won in 1982 and 1984, were among the pre-tournament favourites after breezing through their qualifying group with nine wins from 10 matches.
But Gareth Southgate's men now need a positive result against the Swedes on Sunday if they are to fulfil expectations.
|European U21 Championship|
|Group A: Czech Republic, Denmark, Germany, Serbia||Group B: England, Italy, Portugal, Sweden|
|Top two from each group advance to semi-finals||Final takes place on 30 June in Prague|
Southgate's preparations were hampered on the eve of their opening match when key defender John Stones and top scorer Saido Berahino were both ruled out through injury.
West Brom striker Berahino will miss the whole tournament with a knee problem and, in his absence, Tottenham striker Harry Kane started as England's lone front-man.
The PFA Young Player of Year was left isolated for large periods of the game, although he did force Portugal keeper Jose Sa into a full-length save with a fierce long-range shot shortly after the half-hour mark.
That sparked the Young Lions into life as the match edged towards half-time, Manchester United winger Lingard cutting in from the flank and flashing two efforts past the far post.
However, England were only still level at that stage thanks to a wonderful early save from Jack Butland. The Stoke goalkeeper had to instinctively push clear when defender Liam Moore inadvertently diverted a right-wing cross towards the England goal.
But Butland could not prevent Mario's opener as a fortunate bounce off England left-back Luke Garbutt presented the opportunity to Silva.
The Monaco midfielder drilled the ball against the foot of the post from 10 yards, but the rebound fell straight to the feet of team-mate Mario, who tucked it home.
England had not failed to score in a game since June 2013 but, with substitute Danny Ings firing straight at Sa late on, could not break down a stubborn Portugal defence.
Sweden top after opening games
Italy, who have won the competition on a record five occasions, took the lead against Sweden when Juventus striker Domenico Berardi drilled a 29th-minute penalty into the bottom corner.
Sweden defender Alexander Milosevic was shown a red card for the challenge which led to Italy's spot-kick, but his team-mates fought back to level early in the second half when ex-Manchester City striker John Guidetti guided in from inside a packed penalty area.
The Azzurri saw their numerical advantage wiped out when midfielder Stefano Sturaro was dismissed for shoving Sweden's Filip Helander in the face.
And they were punished with four minutes left when Isaac Kiese Thelin converted a penalty to spark wild Swedish celebrations.
- 2JenkinsonBooked at 62mins
- 6GibsonBooked at 48mins
- 8Ward-ProwseSubstituted forHughesat 54'minutes
- 10CarrollSubstituted forPritchardat 79'minutes
- 16LingardSubstituted forIngsat 74'minutes
- 1Malheiro de Sá
- 4Rodrigues de Oliveira
- 6William Carvalho
- 23João MárioBooked at 83minsSubstituted forNevesat 85'minutes
- 10Bernardo SilvaBooked at 49mins
- 18CavaleiroSubstituted forMedeirosat 73'minutes
- 21Ricardo PereiraSubstituted forCardoso Manéat 79'minutes
- 7Ferreira da Silva
- 12Heuer Fernandes
- 17Cardoso Mané
- 19da Luz Horta
- 20Pinheiro de Carvalho
- 22Semedo Varela
- Danny Makkelie
- Shots on Target
Second Half ends, England U21 0, Portugal U21 1.
Attempt saved. Carl Jenkinson (England U21) header from the centre of the box is saved in the bottom right corner. Assisted by Alex Pritchard with a cross.
Corner, England U21. Conceded by Paulo Oliveira.
Attempt blocked. Alex Pritchard (England U21) right footed shot from the left side of the box is blocked. Assisted by Nathaniel Chalobah.
Corner, England U21. Conceded by Paulo Oliveira.
Attempt missed. Alex Pritchard (England U21) right footed shot from outside the box misses to the left.
Corner, Portugal U21. Conceded by Liam Moore.
Attempt blocked. William Carvalho (Portugal U21) right footed shot from the centre of the box is blocked. Assisted by Sergio Oliveira.
Corner, Portugal U21. Conceded by Jack Butland.
Corner, Portugal U21. Conceded by Ben Gibson.
Substitution, Portugal U21. Ruben Neves replaces João Mário.
Carlos Mané (Portugal U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Liam Moore (England U21).
Attempt missed. Danny Ings (England U21) right footed shot from outside the box is close, but misses the top left corner. Assisted by Carl Jenkinson.
João Mário (Portugal U21) is shown the yellow card for a bad foul.
Foul by João Mário (Portugal U21).
Danny Ings (England U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
William Carvalho (Portugal U21) wins a free kick in the defensive half.
Foul by Luke Garbutt (England U21).