Lewis Baker carries England under-21s to win over Portugal

Lewis Baker netted a second-half winner as England under-21s opened their 2016 Toulon Tournament campaign with a 1-0 victory over Portugal.

Baker converted from close range on the hour mark after combining with fellow Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek.

It was one of a number of occasions when the pair linked up to good effect during a Group B contest at Toulon's Stade Leo Lagrange which saw the sides -- playing two halves of 40 minutes -- having to cope with windy conditions.

The first instance came in the 10th minute when Baker, who has been on loan at Dutch side Vitesse Arnhem this season, collected the ball from Loftus-Cheek and unleashed a low drive that Portugal's Manchester United goalkeeper Joel Pereira parried before the ball was cleared away.

It was a similar story 11 minutes later as Loftus-Cheek again teed-up a Baker shot, with Pereira saving.

Baker then threatened again in the 33rd minute as he received the ball from a corner just outside the box and deftly curled a looping effort goalwards which Pereira managed to palm away.

Portugal had their first effort of note just before the break when a Dalcio Gomes strike from distance was well saved by Jordan Pickford.

Shortly after the interval, Dominic Iorfa made a timely intervention, blocking as the ball fell to Romario Balde right in front of the England goal.

Young Lions boss Gareth Southgate then brought off Duncan Watmore and Kasey Palmer for Cauley Woodrow and Nathan Redmond, and within two minutes the latter had helped set up a goal.

Redmond's attempted cross from the right was blocked by Ruben Dias and the ball fell to Loftus-Cheek, who laid it to Baker for a simple but powerful finish.

Aston Villa midfielder Jack Grealish subsequently came on for Loftus-Cheek in the closing stages, making his first international appearance since deciding last year to switch allegiance from the Republic of Ireland.

Southgate's side are next in action on Monday when they face Guinea, who lost their Group B opener 3-1 to Paraguay.