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Solanke and Lions lose late in opener

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AFC Bournemouth AFC Bournemouth

Dominic Solanke started as England's European Under-21 Championships campaign first game ended in dramatic defeat against France.

Cherries striker Solanke started in attack for the side, playing 71 minutes, with new signing Lloyd Kelly on the bench but not featuring during an enthralling encounter.

The match in Cesena, Italy, was high octane throughout, Three Lions 'keeper Dean Henderson saving a first-half penalty from Moussa Dembele before Phil Foden took centre stage.

Manchester City's Foden opened the scoring in fine fashion as he weaved through defenders in the 54th minute before slotting home in the area.

However, the game took a major swing just past the hour when Hamza Choudhury committed a foul in the box, France earning a second penalty, with the Leicester City midfielder red cared for the tackle after a VAR review.

Houssem Aouar dramatically missed his nation's second spot kick of the night, but France still managed to find a way to win the Group C opener.

The dangerous Jonathan Ikone equalised in the 89th minute with a low dragged finish and in the 95th minute Aaron Wan-Bissaka unfortunately diverted a flick past his own 'keeper as France claimed their win.

With only the group winners guaranteed a knockout place in the championships, a better result will be needed by England when they take on Romania - who beat Croatia 4-1 in their first game - at the same venue on Friday.

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