John Bostock produced a captain's performance but couldn't prevent England Under-17s slipping to defeat against Portugal in their opening match of the FA International U17 Tournament at Rushden and Diamonds FC on Wednesday night.
The midfielder was handed the honour of captaining his country at Nene Park and was involved in all England's best work.
That started as early as the 13th minute when he set-up Manchester United's Ryan Tunicliffe for the opening goal.
He then went on a run from half-way that resulted in a decent strike deflected just wide.
Portugal responded with goals either side of half-time to take a 2-1 lead but England got on top again and went close to forcing an equaliser when John's pass released Jacob Walcott, who struck the post.
England next face Israel at Peterborough United's London Road on Friday night, kick-off 7pm. They then take on Italy at Northampton Town on Sunday, kick-off 3pm.