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Three Lions On Top

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England ended the group stage on a positive note by recording a crucial 1-0 win in their match with the Czech Republic in the British capital that enabled them to top Group D. Meanwhile, the Czechs finished in third place as Croatia claimed second position on the back of a better goal difference.



Gareth Southgate and his side have managed to top their group in a huffing and puffing manner, but the real test awaits them now as they will be facing the runners-up of Group F in the Round of 16 which, at the time of writing this article, are Germany.

FootTheBall takes a look at the match between England and the Czech Republic and what it means for teams in Group D in terms of qualifying for the knockout stage and their potential trajectory in it.



England and Manchester City winger Raheem Sterling has had his fair share of critics and detractors in the beautiful game both at club and country level.

But the 26-year old showed why Gareth Southgate trusts him with a place in the England starting line-up by scoring his second goal in three matches for the Three Lions in Euro 2020.



He was first involved in a near-perfect finish only for his shot to hit the far post in what was only the second minute of the match in the British capital.



And ten minutes later the former Liverpool player got on the scoresheet for England after he nodded in a superb Jack Grealish cross from close range to give the hosts the lead.



The Three Lions have always been recognised as perennial underachievers in international football. And this time too there were doubts surrounding the England camp after their goalless draw with northern neighbours Scotland.

But the Three Lions have seemingly clicked into gear as things apparently have started falling in place for Gareth Southgate’s charges.



In the first half itself, England were playing like a cohesive and well-oiled machine; Harry Maguire defended well as linked up with the attack, meanwhile Sterling continued his spectacular form. 

In addition to that, Harry Kane tested the Czech Republic’s backline constantly, Bukayo Saka showed why he is such a highly rated teenager as he created chances out of nothing and Jack Grealish played delightful and sumptuous football.



It will be a gross understatement to say that the Czechs gave the English a walkover in London. On the contrary, the actual case was starkly opposite to this notion.

The Czechs made a brave attempt in the 35th minute as Jakub Jankto tried to guide the ball into the back of the net from a volley only to see his shot blocked by English players in the box. The rebound fell to Tomas Soucek who narrowly missed what could have been a vital goal.



And in the end, they were left to rue their chances as Croatia overtook them in Group D courtesy of more goals scored as the Croats cruised to a comfortable 3-1 win in Glasgow in their match with Scotland.



Meanwhile, the English now face a relatively daunting task of facing the runners-up of Group F in the Round of 16 as the business end of the tournament is in the offing.

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