England 2-1 Ivory Coast: England claim first win of Toulon Tournament
England goalscorer Chuba Akpom - image via @arsenal

England claimed their first win of the 2015 Toulon Tournament with a 2-1 win over Ivory Coast, courtesy of two goals which were made in the Premier League.

On FA Cup Final day it was Arsenal who struck first through 19-year-old Chuba Akpom, before Aston Villa were represented with a second-half finish from forward Callum Robinson.

The Ivorians got themselves back into the game late on through Abdul Kone's point-blank range header, but it was too little, too late as England climbed to the top of their group after drawing their first game with Morocco.

Ivory Coast went close to opening the scoring early on as they looked to threaten on the counter attack as an England corner was easily dealt with. After four passes the ball was in the other penalty area and it came to Yakou Meite, but his powerful shot was well saved by Jordan Pickford.

With just ten minutes played, England took the lead and it took an impressive piece of skill to break the deadlock. Duncan Watmore, in only his second appearance for the side, made a driving run through the centre of the pitch and pulled the defence out of position before sliding the ball through for Akpom who calmly poked the ball under the goalkeeper from close range.

The first half was not filled with chances, perhaps in part due to the searing heat, but the best came to the Ivorians. Meite and Roger Assale both went close from just inside the penalty area, before the on-form Watmore stung the keeper's gloves with a well-struck volley at the other end.

After taking ten minutes to score in the first half, it took the Young Lions less than five to double their tally after half-time. Watmore was involved again as they built the move gradually, before a killer ball was played down the right for Aston Villa forward Grimes, who slid his low shot across the goalkeeper and into the far corner.

As soon as England scored their second, the tempo of the game dropped and any sort of flow was interrupted by an almost constant of substitutions. Callum Wilson, fresh from lifting the Sky Bet Championship title with Bournemouth, was one of the England replacements but he struggled to make an impact with little time on the pitch.

While an England third seemed more likely than a goal back for the Ivory Coast for much of the second half, the Young Elephants brought themselves back into the game with only a few minutes of the 80-minute game to play.

A looping ball from the left was somehow allowed to evade everyone inside the area and, as it dropped down at the far post, substitute Kone nodded the ball down into the gaping net to give his teammates hope.

It was not to prove decisive, however, as England held out against some late pressure and claim their first win in this year's tournament, at least temporarily taking them to the top of Group B.