England began preparations for the European Championships with a lacklustre victory over Turkey at the Etihad Stadium. Harry Kane scored his fifth international goal in 11 appearances after just two minutes but Roy Hodgson's side were initially unable to build on their lead as Hakan Calhanoglu struck a deserved equaliser amid some uncertain England defending.
Kane missed the opportunity to put the hosts back in front from the penalty spot after hitting the post but Jamie Vardy reacted first after Volkan Babacan pushed clear Gary Cahill's header to claim victory with seven minutes left. But the late goal worked to mask over an uncertain display from Hodgson's men just 20 days out from their opening Euro 2016 group game against Russia.
Despite both finding the net, neither Kane or Vardy impressed as a partnership, Jack Wilshere failed to complete what would have been his first 90 minutes since June 2015, while the back four - in the absence of Chris Smalling and Nathaniel Clyne - looked uncertain for long periods. Meanwhile, without Nurin Sahin and Arda Turan, Turkey looked accomplished and will feel hard done by after suffering just their first loss for 18 months.
Without the Liverpool and Manchester United contingent which featured in the Europa League and FA Cup finals over the past week, the visit of Turkey gave Hodgson the opportunity to trial several combinations including the forward tandem of Kane and Vardy. Wilshere made just his second start in 11 months in midfield, while Raheem Sterling and Joe Hart began on their home ground.
Turkey had never registered an international goal against England in the pair's 10 previous meetings but having ousted Netherlands from qualifying and lost one of their last 15 internationals they carried a real threat in Manchester. Fatih Terim was without his two marque players, captain Turan of Barcelona and Borussia Dortmund's Sahin due to their domestic cup commitments but they would play key roles in their country's Euro 2016 campaign.
In the first of three matches prior to the summer finals, England took just two minutes to break the deadlock. Sterling fed Alli, who played a delicious pass through the legs of Mehmet Topal to Kane - though in an offside position - and the Premier League's top scorer duly stroked past Barbacan. Turkey refused to allow the early the setback to effect them and after Ozan Tufan was denied by Kyle Walker's block, the visitors grabbed a well-earned equaliser.
Danny Rose was badly caught out by Oguzhan Ozyakup's through pass and when Volkan Sen lifted the ball over Hart, Calhanoglu swept into an empty net. The passage of play exposed both the decision from Hodgson to select just three specialist centre-backs in his provisional 26-man squad and an England team whose attacking ambitions may lead to defensive mishaps.
With the game taking place at such close proximity to the start of Euro 2016, both sides were naturally fearful of injuries less than three weeks out from the tournament. Turkey's players were seemingly intent on biting into challenges and their insistence of breaking up the game with a series of late tackles contributed to a stop-start remainder of the first half.
Hodgson opted against making any changes at half time, but his side were unable to regain their dominance. Turkey threatened at regular intervals with Cenk Tosun first heading into the side netting before shooting wide amid some pedestrian England defending.
Hakan Balta flicked off-target when he broke free from a Turkey corner as the pressure continued to ratchet up on the England goal. Nevertheless, the hosts were unperturbed and they should have taken the lead for a second time when Topal was adjudged to have felled Vardy, but Kane was unable to convert from the penalty spot as he struck the outside of the post.
Turkey almost grabbed the draw their performance justified when substitute Olcay Sahan volleyed goalwards but Hart made a fine reaction save to push the ball away to safety. The save ensures Hodgson has a victory to saviour in his 50th match in charge of England, but further work is required before his team travel to France.