England clinched top spot in Group D with a 1-0 win in their final Euro 2020 group stage match against the Czech Republic.
Both teams came into this game on four points. England had beaten Croatia 1-0 and drawn with Scotland 0-0 whilst the Czechs had beaten the Scots 2-0 and drawn with Croatia 1-1. Despite the scoreline depicting an almost even encounter, England looked rampant early on and hit the post inside 2 minutes. Luke Shaw picked out Raheem Sterling who lobbed the goalkeeper only to see his effort bounce back off the post before being scrambled away.
In the 12th minute, England took a deserved lead. Jack Grealish picked the ball up on the left and clipped a cross into the box. The delivery was met by Sterling, who headed the ball in for his and England’s second goal of Euro 2020. The Three Lions nearly added another a few minutes later but Harry Kane’s effort was well saved by Tomas Vaclik in the Czech goal.
As the half went on, the Czech Republic grew into the game and began to find some openings. First, Tomas Holes forced Jordan Pickford into a great save with a powerful effort from distance. Next, Tomas Soucek came close when the ball dropped nicely for him inside the box but his effort went wide of the left post.
Euro 2020: England see out win in second half
While the second half was largely uneventful, England thought they had doubled their lead in the 86th minute. After some good work down the right by Marcus Rashford, Jude Bellingham helped an attempted Czech clearance into the path of Jordan Henderson. The Liverpool skipper’s shot ended up in the back of the net. However, the goal was ruled out for offside and Henderson’s wait for his first England goal was extended.
The score remained 1-0 at full-time and meant England progressed as Group D winners for the Euro 2020 Round of 16. They will face off against whichever team finishes second in Group F, the colloquial ‘Group of Death’.
Results elsewhere meant that the Czech Republic have also secured a spot in the Euro 2020 knock-out stages. They enter the Round of 16 as one of the four best 3rd place teams.
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