DOMINIC Solanke played 71 minutes of England under-21s' dramatic late defeat in their European Championship opener against France.

The Young Lions were 1-0 up in Cesena when Cherries striker Solanke was subbed off thanks to Phil Foden's goal, but down to 10 men following a red card for Hamza Choudhury.

But France, who had missed two earlier penalties, equalised on 89 minutes through Jonathan Ikone before Crystal Palace defender Aaron Wan Bissaka turned into his own net deep into stoppage time.

England boss Aidy Boothroyd told Sky Sports: "The game was very end-to-end and the sending off ultimately gave us our biggest problem.

"As brave and as battle-hardened as the group are, it was just too much to take. I've had a few last-minute winners in my time and a few last-minute losses and that was as tough as I think I've ever taken and certainly the players will feel it more than most.

"I think after all the drama, it would have been a fair result had it been 1-1, but football's not fair is it?"

Solanke, who has not scored for Cherries in 10 appearances since moving to Vitality Stadium, started up front ahead of Chelsea's Tammy Abraham and Everton forward Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

And he had chances to get on the score-sheet during the first half, heading wide under pressure from goalkeeper Paul Bernardoni before stretching to turn a shot just past the post following a fine Demarai Gray cross.

France also missed a golden chance to break the deadlock. After captain Jake Clarke-Salter was penalised for a handball in the box, Moussa Dembele stepped up but saw his spot-kick well saved by Dean Henderson.

And it was England who get their noses in front after the restart when Manchester City starlet Foden embarked on a mazy dribble before prodding into the bottom corner.

The momentum shifted just past the hour mark when Leicester's Choudhury was shown a straight red for a lunging challenge on Jonathan Bamba, following consultation with VAR. But from the resulting penalty, France again fluffed their lines with Houssem Aouar striking a post.

Solanke was replaced by Mason Mount as Boothroyd looked to see out the win, but France rallied to eventually equalise as Ikone drilled in.

And there was more drama to come in the fifth minute of stoppage time when Wan Bissaka sliced an attempted clearance high into his own net.

Solanke's Cherries team-mate Lloyd Kelly was an unused substitute.

With just one team guaranteed to progress from the group, England realistically need to win both their remaining two matches, starting against Romania on Friday before rounding off first phase with a clash against Croatia.